Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul's chief of staff is leaving his Senate office to join his political operation, the senator's office confirms.

Doug Stafford will leave his post to join Paul's political shop, spokeswoman Moira Bagley confirmed. Paul is viewed widely as a potential 2016 presidential candidate. The move will further ramp up speculation that he is gearing up for a run.

The news was first reported by National Review. According to National Review's report, Stafford will run Paul's political action committees, in addition to focusing on Paul's organization in early primary states and his communications and scheduling needs.

Paul has said he will not decide whether to run for president until 2014.