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Paul's brother prefers watching campaign from sidelines

Jerrold D. Paul of Orchard Park acknowledges that when he visits with his brother Ron the Republican congressman from Texas who is running for president -- the conversations always get interesting.

"Very interesting," he said Friday during an interview with The Buffalo News.

As four of the five Paul brothers gather this weekend for their annual reunion at Jerrold's Orchard Park home following Ron's Friday appearance at an East Aurora political rally, the conversations are more likely to center around their days growing up on a farm outside Pittsburgh rather than the national spotlight shining on Ron.

It's better that way, said Jerrold, a semiretired Ph.D. psychotherapist who is also a 45-year veteran of the Presbyterian ministry.

"We're fairly different in our political philosophy, even though I'm supportive of him," he said. "We have quite interesting discussions when we get together.

"They're civil," he quipped. "No fisticuffs."

Jerrold, 73, is a Democrat who shares some -- but not all -- of his brother's libertarian beliefs. While Ron, 75, is riding high on the tea party wave now proving a powerful force in U.S. politics, Jerrold pretty much watches from the sidelines.

"It's not my cup of tea, and tea is the key word here," he said.

Jerrold is studying the developing 2012 presidential campaign with more than passing interest as his brother makes a strong showing in some polls -- including the 8.2 percent average reported by Real Clear Politics.

"He's doing pretty well," he said. "And he was tea party before the tea party ever came into existence. That's been his philosophy."

Jerrold is also uncle to Rand Paul, who was elected to the Senate last November from Kentucky. He calls his nephew a "nice guy."

"But I don't know where this 'Rand' thing came from," he said. "He's always been Randy to me."

Jerrold did not plan to attend the late-afternoon rally at the East Aurora American Legion where his brother was featured speaker. He's more than familiar with his brother's politics.

Besides, he said, he had three brothers and their families to feed Friday evening.

"Somebody has to take care of dinner," he said.

email: rmccarthy@buffnews.com