Rand Paul testing 2016 waters during SC visit

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he's hoping to show people in the early presidential primary state of South Carolina that he can appeal to a broad audience.

Paul spoke with The Associated Press prior to a Friday trip to South Carolina, home to the South's first presidential primary balloting.

The 50-year-old freshman Republican and tea party favorite's name is frequently mentioned as a possible 2016 presidential contender, and he's made recent trips to other early primary states including Iowa and New Hampshire. He's spending some time in South Carolina raising money and meeting with tea party-leaning groups.

State GOP chairman Matt Moore says South Carolina voters are eager to hear Paul's conservative message. Moore says the state will host other potential 2016 White House hopefuls in the coming months.

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