1 of 3
Austin American-Statesman, Deborah Cannon
Sen. Rand Paul, right, and the Texas Tribune's Evan Smith speak at SXSW, Sunday, March 15, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas — It's clear by now that Rand Paul is charting his own course toward a Republican presidential run.

While potential 2016 rivals spent last weekend in New Hampshire, the Kentucky senator spoke at a historically black college in Maryland before hitting South by Southwest — a trendy mix of concerts, movie premieres and the latest must-have technology in Texas.

Paul has been active, too, in the early primary voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But he's out front courting people he says his party has ignored.

He spoke on Berkeley's campus, visited Ferguson, Missouri, after the police shooting death of an unarmed black man, and has made Hispanic outreach a cornerstone of his political identity.

Whether that pays off in a GOP race remains to be seen.