Rand Paul’s political juggernaut grew even more formidable on Monday.
RANDPAC, the Kentucky senator’s political action committee, announced that it hired John Yob, a prominent Republican consultant, to be its national political director and chief strategist in Yob’s native Michigan.
The hire is a big get for the libertarian-leaning presidential hopeful. Yob has cut an unorthodox political course, working for John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid and playing a key role on Rick Santorum’s campaign after the former Pennsylvania senator’s surprise win in the Iowa caucuses.
Adding Yob to his team gives Paul instant credibility in Michigan, which traditionally holds relatively early primaries and where Mitt Romney’s win in February 2012 marked the beginning of the end of the Republican nomination process that year. Yob also brings another advantage to the Paul campaign. He is one of the most respected delegate counters in the GOP and gives Paul a big advantage of the 2016 GOP primary comes down to a scramble for delegates.
Yob joins several other recent Paul hires who have come from all corners of the GOP. Paul recently hired Santorum’s 2012 campaign manager and longtime New Hampshire operative Mike Biundo to head up the Kentucky senator’s operations in New England while picking up Iowa veteran Steve Grubbs to join former state party chair A.J. Spiker in the Hawkeye State. While Spiker is a longtime supporter of both Ron and Rand Paul, Grubbs, a former state party chair and legislator, has worked for candidates ranging from Bob Dole to Herman Cain in the past.
The Iowa caucuses are still nearly a year and a half away and a lot can happen in the meantime. But, by staffing up so early, Paul is laying a marker down for the type of campaign that he’s running and the type of operatives from across the party whom he has recruited to work for him.