(CNN) – When Sen. Rand Paul visits Maine Saturday, he'll be venturing into friendly territory.
His father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, amassed strong support in the state and took a close second behind Mitt Romney in the 2012 GOP presidential caucuses, 38%-36%.
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Rand Paul will speak at Maine's GOP convention on Saturday, after headlining a lunch for the state party with fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
The pairing of the two senators is an interesting matchup, given Collins' reputation for being a moderate and Paul's libertarian leanings. But it could be a mutually beneficial appearance.
Paul is actively trying to broaden his appeal in the GOP by courting mainstream Republicans without losing his libertarian-leaning base.
If Paul runs for president, he'll want the same robust support his father got from Republicans in Maine, and by appearing with Collins, he'll show voters nationwide he can play nice with establishment Republicans and those willing to work with the other side.
For her part, an event with Paul could help boost her credentials among her more conservative base and curb speculation that she's not a firmly rooted Republican.
"It's kind of neat to have two people that represent part of the breath of the Republican Party … together in one room," Maine GOP Chairman Rick Bennett said.
Bennett is hoping the joint appearance will help represent a theme of unity at the convention, a theme he says needs to permeate after the state's 2010 and 2012 conventions that saw strong division among tea party activists, libertarians and moderate Republicans.
"Our party is a very open and big tent kind of party in Maine," said Bennett, who became chairman last year. "What we hope to do with this convention is show that this diversity of viewpoints is a good thing for our party. It's a strength. There's a lot more that unites us than divides us."
The 2012 takeover
Maine's Republican delegation had a turbulent ride at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Florida. Ron Paul supporters had taken over the state's entire delegation at Maine's own convention earlier that year, obtaining all 21 delegates for Paul.
In Florida, they were vocal and aggressive in working to make sure Paul was fairly represented. Paul's delegates negotiated with Romney's campaign ahead of the event to hold debate on key policy issues for the Republican Party platform.
But during the convention, tensions resurfaced. A large number of his supporters stormed off the convention floor in protest of the RNC's decision to not seat 10 delegates from Maine as a punishment for the takeover.
When the tallies of Paul's delegates in each state were announced during the roll call, Paul's supporters delivered loud cheers. But convention organizers ultimately made a decision to stop calling out the Paul delegates. That decision was met with furious cries from Paul's supporters, who said their voices weren't being heard at the Republican Party's official gathering.
Maine's nontraditional track
The support for Ron Paul in Maine wasn't too big of a surprise. Although Paul was running as a Republican, the state had the nation's highest turnout for independent presidential candidate Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996. It has elected an independent governor three times since 1974 and came close to doing the same in 2010. Its other U.S. senator, Angus King, is one of two independent senators. He caucuses with the Democrats.
The state hasn't voted Republican in a presidential election since 1988 or sent a Republican to the U.S. House since 1994, but at the same time, it hasn't sent a reliably blue Democrat to the Senate since 1988.
While Ron Paul had strong support in Maine-including an endorsement from Linda Bean, heiress to the famed outfitter L.L. Bean–it will be interesting to see how his son is received in the state, as not all Ron Paul supporters are fans of the Kentucky senator.
But with Maine's blended electoral history–Republicans took the state legislature in 2010; Democrats took it back in 2012–a politician like Paul, who's trying to buck many traditional views of the ideal Republican candidate, could make inroads in a state known for taking a nontraditional path.
Democrats, however, are already trying to stir up some drama ahead of Paul's trip. The Democratic National Committee released a new web video Friday, tying Paul with the outspoken and sometimes controversial governor of Maine, Paul LePage. The incumbent governor is also set to speak at the convention Saturday.
Bennett expects Paul's visit to go fairly well. "As I talk with people active in the party in Maine, he's one of the first names that people mention," he said, referring to potential candidates for the 2016 presidential race. "But it's a little early."
CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.