WASHINGTON (CNN) – Dr. Rand Paul, the son of former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, announced Thursday night that he is forming an exploratory committee to to challenge Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning in a Republican primary.
Paul made the announcement Thursday night on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show.
Paul had said previously that he would not throw his hat in the ring if Bunning decided to run for reelection. Bunning - seen as one of the weakest Republicans in the 2010 race - has said that he will run again, but Paul said he doesn't necessarily trust that the two-term Kentucky senator will follow through.
"I think the problem is that every time a reporter asks Jim Bunning, are you running, their follow up question is, Jim, are you really running," Paul said. He said Bunning has done some "unusual things" and said, "What I hate to see is a politician who might go all the way up to the deadline and pull their papers out an hour before and then you have one candidate and there's no real primary."
Since his announcement, Paul said he has raised over $12,000, according to his campaign Web site. Paul's conservative views are very similar to those of his father, who garnered a major grassroots following during his run for president last year.