When there was speculation in December that Republican Maine State Senator Eric Brakey might seek to unseat Independent Angus King from the U.S. Senate, I said that Rand Paul could use a tag team partner.
On Monday, Sen. Paul gave the libertarian-leaning Brakey his endorsement.
“Eric has a proven liberty first resume,” Paul said in a fundraising email, touting Sen. Brakey’s efforts in Maine to pass welfare reform and protect Second Amendment rights, and his opposition to corporate welfare.
“Senator Rand Paul’s heroic crusade for our constitutional liberties in the U.S. Senate has inspired and motivated my efforts to defend our freedoms in the Maine Senate,” Brakey said in an email to Rare. “As I launch my campaign to take the fight to Washington, I am humbled and honored to have the support of one of my heroes, Senator Rand Paul.”
Brakey understands that his challenge to the incumbent King makes him the underdog. “I am getting into this race to challenge Angus King,” Brakey said last month when he officially announced his bid, “and I am getting into this race now because I understand that I am going to be an underdog candidate.”
“It’ll be an uphill challenge for 28-year-old Eric Brakey against King, a popular former governor,” The Bangor Daily News reported in April. “The Republican also has a potential primary hurdle in Gov. Paul LePage. Brakey would be the youngest-ever U.S. Senator from Maine.”
Though Sen. King is registered as an Independent, he usually caucuses and votes with Democrats.
Brakey released a campaign ad in April:
Brakey is a popular two-term state senator who also manned the Maine efforts for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign and was the director in that state for Sen. Paul’s 2016 White House bid.
Sen. Brakey sees his libertarian Republican philosophy as an election advantage. Maine’s Sun Journal reported on Monday, “Brakey said in his podcast with [libertarian pundit] Tom Woods that he thinks Maine is in the middle of a realignment that provides an opening for someone like him who can appeal to both sides of the political aisle.”
“While Eric’s resume standing for liberty as a State Senator is certainly impressive, I have had the pleasure to get to know him personally and see him produce real results for the liberty movement,” Paul said in Monday’s email endorsement.
“We need to start NOW to make sure we send more principled defenders of liberty Washington, D.C., this election cycle,” Paul said. “Thankfully, Maine State Senator Eric Brakey has stepped up to the plate with a strong pro-liberty and anti-government agenda to defeat Senator King.”
Last year, Roll Call dubbed Brakey “Maine’s 28-year-old political wunderkind.”
Disclosure: I co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Sen. Rand Paul.