The Maine Republican Party convention will have some star power when it convenes later this month.

Rand Paul, a presumed 2016 presidential candidate, will address the convention on April 26 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Paul’s visit is a win-win for the party and the Kentucky senator. For the party, his appearance marks another attempt to unite Republicans as they head into the legislative and gubernatorial election.

Until the past several months even the appearance of unity has been a struggle for Maine Republicans. The division was on full display during the 2012 state convention when activists supporting Paul’s father, libertarian Ron Paul, took over the proceedings in an effort to get the candidate a speaking position at the national convention in Tampa.

The infighting between the Ron Paul activists and the so-called establishment continued well into the next year, leading to the departure of Charlie Webster, and later Rich Cebra, as party chairman. During that time there was speculation that the party was having difficulty recruiting candidates and that enthusiasm was low.

That appears to have changed since Rick Bennett was installed as party chairman. Bennett has made party unity a priority. Additionally, last month the party boasted that it had recruited candidates for every seat in the state legislature for the first time in nearly a decade

Rand Paul’s appearance could help the party engage some of his father’s supporters, many of whom expressed disenchantment during and after the 2012 convention. That’s important to Republicans’ chances this year because Paul’s network of activists could be a significant boost to voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts.    

Bennett, in a prepared statement, said, “I can’t think of a better national figure to speak at our convention to the issues of individual liberty and economic prosperity than Senator Rand Paul. I admire the principles Senator Paul stands for, and as I hear from Republicans across our state, I know that a groundswell of support for these principles is rising.”

He added, “With a growing movement of young, principled Republicans focused on freedom and prosperity for Maine, and a strong and active group of Republicans who put the cause of individual liberty and economic freedom at the forefront of their activity, Senator Paul is a perfect fit for our state convention."

The visit also a boost for Rand Paul, who in March became the first of the 2016 Republican contenders to assemble a campaign network in all 50 states, according to the Washington Post.