Texas Republican Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff Jeff Deist told The Daily Caller that Paul hasn’t decided whether to endorse a candidate in the 2012 race to replace him.
Deist also noted that Paul hasn’t encouraged his sons to run. Paul announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election to the House, opting instead to focus on his presidential campaign.
Currently, more than ten candidates have expressed interest in representing Texas’ 14th Congressional District, according to a report Tuesday appearing in the Houston Chronicle.
“There’s a slew of potential candidates on the Republican side,” Deist told TheDC. “Some of them have asked to meet with Ron and talk to him, and some would like to presumably seek his endorsement. But it’s going to be awfully tough for Ron, I think he’s going to have to stay neutral.”
Asked whether another of Paul’s sons would enter the race, Deist noted that “his son Ronny, Jr. lives in Lake Jackson, which is in the newly-drawn 14th district still,” whereas another son, Robert, lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Deist said that “as of the moment, [Ron Paul, Jr.] has expressed no interest in the seat.”
Robert Paul was rumored earlier this year to be interested in running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, but he ultimately declined to enter that contest.
Asked whether Paul would encourage one of his sons to run for the seat, in the event that the Republican field disappoints him, Deist said, “I don’t think he would encourage them; I think they would do that on their own.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, he noted, chose to run for office in 2010 by himself, without his father’s encouragement.
“Three out of Ron’s five kids are doctors,” Deist added. “And I don’t think Ron views serving in Congress as the highest profession, especially if one’s a successful doctor.