Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) plans to open an office in the San Francisco Bay area, a heavily Democratic location that will give him prime access to Silicon Valley donors ahead of a potential 2016 presidential bid.
Paul told the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday that he plans to travel to the San Francisco area frequently but had no specific plans for when he would open the office. He hinted that he would use connections in Silicon Valley “to win,” but declined to elaborate on what that meant.
"There's a lot of smart people in Silicon Valley, and we want to use their brains to figure out how to win," he said.
Paul has already made overtures to Silicon Valley and has tried to square his libertarian philosophy with technological advocates. He has met one-on-one with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.
“The crowd wants good service — you rate your Uber driver, your stay at a hotel,” Paul said at a tech conference in San Francisco in July. “As information becomes more widespread, maybe you need less and less government.”
That Paul is undaunted by the strong support that President Barack Obama received in the Bay Area during the 2012 elections is somewhat unsurprising given that the Kentucky Republican has encouraged Republicans to expand the party’s voter base. He has also taken a number of unconventional positions on issues for a Republican and has supported reforms on mandatory sentences on drug offenses and restoring voting rights for some felons.