A prominent associate of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has been reaching out to first-primary state New Hampshire in recent days inquiring about local operatives who may be interested in an apparent effort to put together a local campaign team for his expected presidential run.
The New Hampshire Journal has learned that a top Washington-based political strategist, Sara Taylor Fagen, has been inquiring about local operatives who might be willing to work with a Bush campaign in the state, should he run.
Fagen is well-known in the nation’s capital and in GOP circles nationally. She is a partner at DDC Advocacy and is the former White House Political Director for Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush.
Bush himself has made calls to several key Granite State elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.
Fagen over the past several days has been making inquiries about key operatives in the state, sources tell the New Hampshire Journal. Among those being discussed was Jamie Burnett, a principle of Profile Strategy Group. He is a veteran of several campaigns, was Deputy Campaign Manager for Sen. John E. Sununu’s 2008 campaign, political director for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign in New Hampshire and was on Sununu’s Senate staff in Washington.
It is unclear if Fagen has also reached out to or has discussed Burnett’s fellow principles at Profile Strategy, James and Michael Sununu, who are the brothers of former Sen. Sununu and sons of former Gov. John H. Sununu. The elder Sununu has ties to both the Bush family and to Romney.
Bush announced in early January that he was strongly considering running for President, and Romney quickly followed with an announcement that he was also seriously considering running.
While Romney has direct ties to the state and essentially, an organization-in-waiting based on his prior to runs for President, Jeb Bush has not been to New Hampshire since 2004.
Word of the inquiries comes amid reports that Bush and Romney will meet in Utah this week — a meeting that had been scheduled before Romney announced he’s seriously considering a third run for President.
Burnett and a spokesman for Bush could not be immediately reached for comment.