U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced Monday he has selected state Sen. Don Huffines to lead his presidential campaign in Texas, tapping a family friend to help him win a state to which he has ample personal and political connections.
Huffines, a Dallas Republican elected last year to the upper chamber, will serve as Texas state chairman of Paul's campaign.
"Strong conservative leadership runs in Sen. Rand Paul's veins," Huffines said in a statement. "He is unapologetically principled in his beliefs about limiting government and advancing freedom and liberty for Americans, and I am proud to help him become our next President."
Huffines, who has known the Paul family for more than two decades, has long been expected to play an official role in the Kentucky senator's bid for the White House. Huffines has been helping Paul raise money in Texas and pitching in at local campaign events, and he most recently had a front-row seat for the latest GOP presidential debate attended by the Kentucky senator.
Huffines' selection adds to a campaign already with several notable ties to Texas, where Paul grew up and went to college. His father, Ron Paul, is a longtime congressman from Lake Jackson. Steve Munisteri, former chairman of the Texas GOP, is serving as a senior adviser to Rand Paul's campaign, which has an outpost in Austin focused on organizing and technology.
Hours before the Paul campaign named Huffines to the post, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announced in Houston that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will chair his presidential campaign in the state. At least two other GOP candidates, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and billionaire Donald Trump, have also appointed people to lead their efforts in the Lone Star State.