Rand Paul says Jesse Benton, a former aide touched by scandal, will be involved in his political future, which is likely to include a presidential campaign.
Benton, who ran Paul’s 2010 bid for the Senate, earlier this year stepped down from managing Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign over ties to a 2012 Iowa caucuses controversy.
Paul defended Benton in an interview with WHAS11, an ABC affiliate in Kentucky, that was posted Monday.
“Jesse is married to my niece and was a big help in the Kentucky election here in 2010 and a big help for Sen. McConnell,” said Paul, the junior senator from the Bluegrass State. “And, yes he’ll help us.”
The Republican’s political team did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on what that help entails, or whether Benton is an imminent hire.
Benton worked for Paul’s father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, during his 2008 and 2012 presidential bids.
A former Iowa Republican state lawmaker pleaded guilty earlier this year for taking money in exchange for flipping an endorsement from Rep. Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul in the last presidential cycle.
Benton wasn’t accused of wrongdoing in the matter, but he stepped aside from McConnell’s campaign in August to avoid becoming a distraction.
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