Cathy Bailey hosts "meet and greet" for Rand Paul in Florida that brings in $25k

03/11/2013 05:54 PM

Cathy Bailey, the former U.S. ambassador to Latvia under President George W. Bush, held a “meet and greet” for Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul at her Palm Beach, Fla., home over the weekend.

Those attending made some “spontaneous donations” to Paul’s political fund, according to an advisor within the Paul camp. Many of the donations were inspired by Paul’s 13-hour filibuster last week on the nomination of John Brennan to be head of the CIA until Paul got more information on the administration’s drone policy.

The adviser, who declined to be named, said the gathering brought out three or four times the number of people staff was expecting. Paul collected about $25,000, although the advisor couldn’t say whether the donations went toward Paul’s 2016 campaign or RANDPAC, which is Paul’s leadership PAC that he used to spread to political allies as well as to the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission .

RANDPAC temporarily shut down after Paul’s filibuster when a flood of online donations overwhelmed the server. The committee collected between $250,000 and $300,000 online.

The filibuster, which started late Wednesday morning, spilled into Thursday and garnered widespread attention to the issue and to Paul, who has said he is considering running for president in 2016.

It’s not surprising Paul, whose U.S. Senate seat also isn’t up for re-election until 2016, would go out of state for the donations considering U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is busily fundraising throughout Kentucky and Washington D.C. for his 2014 election.

Kentucky law doesn’t allow for a candidate to appear on a ballot for two different offices. But Paul might still be able to run for both U.S. Senate and President — at least until the filing deadline at the end of January 2016.

Federal law doesn’t prohibit him from starting an exploratory committee for president at the same time. That would allow him to campaign in early primary states over the next several years.

Bailey, a prolific Republican fundraiser, has expressed some interest in running for governor in 2015; but in October she told Pure Politics she would like to get through McConnell’s re-election in 2014 first.

_(Correction: An earlier draft incorrectly attributed the amount of money collected online to the amount brought in by the meet and greet event.) _

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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