- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Rob Maness, a Republican who ran an unsuccessful, tea party-backed campaign for the U.S. Senate earlier this year, isn’t leaving politics.

Maness, who came in third in the November primary, announced Tuesday he is starting a political action committee called GatorPAC to recruit and support conservative candidates and proposals.

The name is a play on Maness’ campaign ads that compared Washington to a swamp and career politicians to alligators. Maness was a political newcomer when he launched his Senate campaign and surprised many with his fundraising ability and upstart effort.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter will headline a fundraising event for the PAC next year. Maness also has support for the effort from Republican Bill Cassidy, who defeated Democrat incumbent Mary Landrieu earlier this month to win the Senate seat.

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