Republican Eric Brakey’s long shot bid for a U.S. Senate seat got a boost Monday with the public backing of one of the senators with whom he hopes to serve.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sent out a fundraising email for Brakey on Monday that said the 28-year-old Mainer “has a proven liberty first resume.”

Brakey, a state senator from Auburn, is hoping to unseat U.S. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who’s up for reelection in 2018. King is seeking a second term. So far, Brakey is his only opponent.

Brakey told a conservative podcast recently that he has a shot because “there’s very much a ‘leave me alone’ libertarian bent to the state of Maine” that he can tap into if he can frame the issues in a way that appeals to voters.

Brakey has ties to Rand Paul. He served as the senator’s presidential campaign director in Maine last year after holding the same position four years earlier for Ron Paul, the senator’s father and libertarian legend.

In his email appeal for support for Brakey, Rand Paul said he needs more allies in the Senate.

“Thankfully,” he said, “Brakey has stepped up to the plate with a strong pro-liberty and anti-government agenda to defeat Senator King.”

“Now it is our time to tell Eric that we have his back as he stands up against the Kings in Washington and fights for the little guy whose voice isn’t being heard,” Paul wrote.

Paul said he has had the pleasure of getting to know Brakey and watched him “produce real results for the liberty movement.”

Brakey said in his podcast with Tom Woods that he thinks Maine is in the middle of a realignment that provides an opening for someone like him who can appeal to both sides of the political aisle.

He said that since jumping into the race, he’s had “so much help coming in” in terms of contributions, resumes from possible campaign staffers and offers to volunteer that he’s fouhd it “really encouraging.”

Brakey said it’s a big endeavor to run for the Senate, but he’s counting on help from libertarians across the country who realize that every senator has one vote, whether he’s from Maine or California. Winning in Maine is a lot more likely since any help goes much further, he said.

King, a former governor, is one of two independents in the Senate. He caucuses with the Democrats and typically votes with them as well.

State Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn

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