Sen. Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign, which in recent months has gone from being a strong possibility to a near certainty, has hired a new political director to conduct operations in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa.
Jonathan Van Norman, who served as former Rep. Ron Paul’s regional director in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District during his 2012 presidential run, will join an Iowa campaign team which is already staffed with several big names such as former Iowa Republican Party chairmen Steve Grubbs and AJ Spiker. In addition to his work for Ron Paul 2012, Van Norman’s impressive resume includes Liberty For All (a political action committee which proved crucial for Thomas Massie’s 2012 victory), the National Right To Work Committee, and most recently as a Regional Field Director for the Republican Party of Kentucky.
“Jonathan Van Norman comes highly recommended, especially for the good work he did with Ron Paul in 2012. AJ Spiker said he has a great work ethic and people like to work with him. Assuming Senator Paul pulls the trigger on a run for president, Jonathan will serve as the Iowa political director,” said Grubbs, the campaign’s chief strategist in Iowa.
One thing that is immediately apparent about this move is that Rand Paul is taking his obligation to win over liberty voters very seriously. The hire will help to further solidify the base of voters that Ron Paul attracted during his 2012 campaign, as Van Norman is highly respected among liberty voters in the state. The liberty voters in Iowa whom I discussed this hire with reacted with universal praise.
“Rand is growing the party while staying true to his roots,” said Adil Khan, the Executive Director of Liberty Iowa, a prominent activist organization in the state. “The hire of Van Norman confirms that he is committed to keeping on those members that worked tirelessly for the liberty movement. I had the pleasure of working with John and overseeing his work in the fourth district, and he continued to work hard in anything we assigned him to do.”
This move comes very shortly after a weekend where Rand Paul successfully wooed Iowa voters in what some called a perfect trip for the Senator, a trip which culminated with former State Representative and 2002 gubernatorial candidate Steve Sukup endorsing Senator Paul’s likely presidential bid. During the trip Paul also made his case to liberty voters, speaking at an Audit The Fed rally that drew a raucous crowd full of grassroots liberty activists. If Paul can effectively couple the sort of outreach he has orchestrated towards individuals like Mr Sukup with the aggressive approach he has taken towards securing his libertarian base, we may have a truly dynamic campaign machine in the making.