As Rand Paul prepares to formally announce his candidacy for President, the New Hampshire Journal has learned the Kentucky senator intends to tap state Republican Party director David Chesley to run his Granite State operation during the first-in-the-nation primary campaign.
Two independent sources confirmed Tuesday night that Chesley will leave his NHGOP post perhaps as early as next week and join Paul’s campaign as soon as the senator formally announces for President and begins an official campaign operation.
There are numerous media reports tonight that Paul will announce his candidacy in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday, April 7.
The New Hampshire Journal has further learned that Paul New Hampshire supporters have been advised by the Paul team to save Wednesday, April 8, as the date he will arrive in the Granite State to continue his announcement tour. He is also expected to go to Iowa, South Carolina and other states.
Before the announcement tour, Paul is scheduled to arrive in New Hampshire on Friday for campaign-style events and meetings that day and Saturday.
In Chesley, Paul will be picking up one of the top operatives in New Hampshire. During the 2014 midterm campaign, Chesley was the Republican National Committee state “Victory” director and has remained in the role of NHGOP state director – a separate post from NHGOP executive director. In that role, Chesley oversees continued development of the party’s ground operation, data collection, get-out-the-vote planning and its voter ID effort.
Chesley joined the state GOP staff as political director and senior advisor shortly after Jennifer Horn became chairman in early 2013. He previously managed Horn’s 2008 and 2010 congressional campaigns and was a senior advisor to former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass’s 2012 campaign.
Chesley also worked on Bass’s 2006 campaign and was the field director of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign in New Hampshire.
The hiring of Chesley to run Paul’s New Hampshire operation apparently means that another prominent Granite Stater, Mike Biundo of Manchester, will have a broader role with the campaign.
Biundo joined Paul’s RANDPAC last July as chief strategist for New England.
After a midterm election last November that saw state Republicans win back the New Hampshire House and Executive Council majorities, broaden its majority in state Senate and take back the 1st District U.S. House seat via Frank Guinta, Horn credited a “new ground game,” improved technology and additional coordination among various GOP committees.
She noted in a memo that the party’s ground game team, led by Chesley and state party field director Bobby Collins, won praise from the RNC’s regional political director, Tiffany Watkins, who called it an “amazing effort.”
Chesley will lead a campaign in New Hampshire that will try to both capitalize on entrenched support of Paul’s father, former Rep. Ron Paul, who finished second in the 2012 New Hampshire Primary, and broaden its support to various groups and coalitions, especially including young libertarian-minded and conservative Granite Staters.