U.S. Senator Rand Paul Announces Presidential Run

The Kentucky senator has, after months of anticipation, launched his bid for the presidency. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on Tuesday formally announced he will seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016. Paul made the announcement on his website. He is expected to officially launch his campaign later today at a rally in his home state before embarking on a five-day tour of five states.

"I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government," Paul, 52 years old, said on the website RandPaul.com.

The announcement was preceded by a report revealing Paul's campaign slogan as "Defeat the Washington machine. Unleash the American dream."

Paul, a libertarian and the son of former U.S. congressman from Texas Ron Paul, is the second Republican to announce his candidacy for U.S. president. Texas senator Ted Cruz launched his bid in March. While former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced in December that he was "actively exploring the possibility of running," he has not formally launched his campaign. No Democrats have announced their bids yet, but Hillary Clinton is widely expected to do so soon and is considered a front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

Paul has so far received around $60,000 in donations from supporters, according to his website; and he is the first presidential candidate to accept donations in bitcoin, according to The Washington Post.

A recent poll of likely Republican contenders by ABC and The Washington Post shows Paul, tied for fourth place with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Florida senator Marco Rubio.