AUGUSTA – State Sen. Eric Brakey’s campaign against U.S. Sen. Angus King could soon get a financial boost from a political action committee aligned with one of the country’s most prominent libertarians.

The Protect Freedom PAC, which describes itself as “an organization set up to support current and future allies of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul,” announced that Brakey was one of the first two candidates the PAC will support in 2018. The Virginia-based PAC claims it already has $1 million in the bank to support candidates aligned with Paul, a Kentucky Republican who ran for president in 2016. Brakey, R-Auburn, supported Paul’s 2016 campaign as well as the 2012 presidential bid of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

Brakey, 29, faces an uphill battle against King, a former two-term governor who often gets high approval ratings in Maine and whose committee assignments – particularly on the Senate Intelligence Committee – have given him a higher national profile. King is an independent who has caucused with the Democrats throughout his first term in the U.S. Senate.

As of September 30, Brakey’s campaign had received $126,136 in contributions and reported just over $53,000 in “cash on hand,” according to campaign finance disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission. King, by comparison, reported $2.6 million in contributions and roughly $1.5 million in the bank, according the FEC filings.

The Protect Freedom PAC also announced it was supporting Republican Rep. Raul Labrador in his campaign for governor in Idaho.

“Eric Brakey in Maine and Raul Labrador in Idaho are two perfect examples of liberty-minded conservatives we need fighting for the values we hold dear,” Michael Biundo, lead consultant with the PAC, said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting them and other like-minded candidates in the months to come.”

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