State Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, discusses legislation at the State House in Augusta in 2015. (AP file photo)

A new political action committee devoted to supporting “pro-freedom and pro-liberty candidates across the country” vowed Thursday to lend a hand to Republican Eric Brakey’s U.S. Senate campaign in Maine.

The Protect Freedom PAC said it has more than $1 million already in its coffers and plans to focus initially on helping a gubernatorial candidate in Idaho and Brakey, a state senator from Auburn who hopes next year to unseat U.S. Sen. Angus King, a first-term independent.

Brakey said he is honored “to see such a serious commitment to this race,” in which he is the only declared GOP candidate.

“Leaders across the country are realizing what we already know in Maine: Angus King is a creature of Washington’s status quo:  corporate welfare and crony capitalism,” Brakey said. “We plan to take this seat back for the people of Maine.”

The new political action committee aims to help “current and future allies” of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, a lawmaker whose father, Ron Paul, helped spread libertarian thinking. Brakey has worked for the presidential campaigns of both father and son in the past.

The lead consultant for Project Freedom PAC is Michael Biundo of New Hampshire, who served as national senior adviser to Rand Paul’s unsuccessful bid for president last year. Biundo also worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign. 

In a prepared statement, Biundo said the new organization “believes that we need more public servants who will be strong voices for liberty. With the help of our like-minded donors, Protect Freedom PAC will utilize specific tactics, technologies, and strategies to ensure we get more pro-freedom conservatives elected to public office.”

He said that Brakey and Idaho gubernatorial hopeful Raul Labrador “are two perfect examples of the liberty-minded conservatives we need fighting for the values we hold dear.”

“We look forward to supporting them and other like-minded candidates in the months to come,” Biundo said.

King has raised $2 million for his campaign and has $1.5 million on hand. Brakey has raised $126,000 and has $53,000 left to spend. A Democrat in the race, teacher Zak Ringelstein, hadn’t raised anything before the Federal Election Commission’s Sept. 30 filing deadline.

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