Rand Paul Loses Controversial Staff Member Ahead Of Possible Presidential Run

Rand Paul will no longer have the services of a controversial aide who played up a pro-Confederate past and dubbed himself “The Southern Avenger.”

Jack Hunter, the director of new media for Paul’s office, has left the job after his controversial past caught up with him. It was not noted if Hunter left on his own accord of if he was fired by Rand Paul, but the departure is seen as a bit of house cleaning ahead of a possible run for president in 2016.

At an appearance in Louisville, Paul said Hunter had become a “distraction.”

But Paul had supported Hunter in the past, telling The Huffington Post, “If I thought he was a white supremacist, he’d be fired immediately.”

Hunter had admitted that he was “politically incorrect” in his defense of the Confederacy but denied being a racist. In the past Hunter had written in support of President Lincoln’s assassination, and was known to wear a Confederate mask during public appeances.

“I’ve long been a conservative, and years go, a much more politically incorrect (and campy) one,” Hunter said in an e-mail to The Daily Caller. “But there’s a significant difference between being politically incorrect and racist. I’ve also become far more libertarian over the years, a philosophy that encourages a more tolerant world view, through the lens of which I know look back on some of my older comments with embarrassment.”

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been increasing his public stature in anticipation of what many believe will be a run for the presidency in 2016. He is expected to be the libertarian torch bearer against more “establishment” Republicans like Chris Christie and Marco Rubio.

Rand Paul has also become a favorite of the so-called Tea Party, and Jack Hunter had actually helped the senator write the book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington.