Rand Paul endorses Scott Brown in NH Senate race

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New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown picked up the endorsement Friday of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in a move that could help the Republican challenger cash in on the senator's appeal among the state's independent-minded voters.

The libertarian-leaning Paul endorsed Brown at a University of New Hampshire event.

On the sidelines, Paul told Fox News that Brown is a candidate that Republicans -- and libertarians -- can get behind. "I think there is a significant freedom-loving, liberty-loving group in New Hampshire. That's why I like it here," Paul said.

New Hampshire also happens to hold the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, and is a must-visit state for potential 2016 candidates -- like Paul.

In the state's Senate race, Brown is challenging Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and polls show a tightening contest.

"He's right there and can win," Paul claimed.

Brown, a former Massachusetts senator, secured the party nomination earlier this week. But the Kentucky senator notes Brown will need to pull the prized independent vote to defeat Shaheen in November.

"The way you win an election is you have to unify your base ... and as everybody knows in New Hampshire, there's about a third of the public that's independent," he said. "I think that's where Scott's greatest strength is."

Paul told Fox News he will be back in New Hampshire in the next few weeks for an event. Brown turned to Paul and offered, "You can stay at my house."