Paul’s presidential campaign announcement urges young voters to ‘Stand with Rand’

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Rand Paul gives a speech at the Service Academy Information Fair at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center on Thursday.

Michael McKay

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) announced before a packed ballroom in downtown Louisville that “today beings the journey to bring America back,” officially making Paul the second GOP politician to enter the 2016 presidential race.
The Kentucky Senator’s hometown of Bowling Green was mentioned in a speech by wife Kelley Paul, who later introduced the senator.
Kelley Paul said six years ago she was skeptical when her husband, then a local ophthalmologist, announced he planned to run for Senate. 
“But then I saw him speak,” she said, being amazed by both his passion and the passion of the 700 tea party supporters that filled downtown Fountain Square Park.
Among the crowd for the Senator was Bowling Green native Austin Hatfield, who came with a group of college students working on Agricultural Commissioner James Comer’s gubernatorial campaign.
The WKU junior said he felt Paul connects strongly with young voters on civil liberties.
“I think younger people are just more prone to connect to civil liberties and free markets and things like that,” he said, adding that younger people are more open to policies that aren’t “the same old stuff.”
Prespeech campaign videos for Paul prior to his speech focused on the NSA’s data-gathering practices and monitoring of metadata.
Paul announced in his speech that he would repeal that data-gathering policy through executive order on his first day in office. 
Campaign videos also highlighted his trips to Ferguson, Mo., Chicago and West Louisville to try to fix policies that aren’t helping income and education disparities for those residents and laws that may unfairly target African Americans.
“I think that’s necessary,” Hatfield said of Paul’s more socially progressive policies.  “I think the Republican party,I’m not sure what party they are anymore and I think what he’s doing is bringing us back to our base.”
Paul’s politics have already swayed University of Kentucky junior Lauren Bosler, who introduced to the Paul’s pre-speech campaign video directed toward young people. 
Bosler said she’s been interning with Paul since she was in high school because he’s ‘so different than any other politician.’
“He’s a real person,” she said. “He’s not a politician, he’s a doctor.”
Bosler said after the speech that college students identify more with Paul’s libertarian principals and his ‘outsider’ politician status. 
“I think young people… don’t want to deal with the b.s. that other politicians are trying to send to us,” Bosler said.