Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty made yet another key step toward a White House run today by naming Nick Ayers as his Campaign Manager, effective in late April. Pawlenty became the first conventional candidate to launch a Presidential Exploratory Committee several weeks ago, and will almost certainly launch an official campaign in the next few weeks.
Ayers is a well-known Republican operative, most recently having served as the Executive Director of the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) during one of the committee’s most successful periods. Incidentally, Ayers’ boss at the RGA, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, is also a 2012 contender.
See below for the full text of the campaign’s press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 11, 2011
Governor Pawlenty names Nick Ayers to be Campaign Manager
MINNEAPOLIS – Governor Tim Pawlenty announced today that Nick Ayers, the former Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association, will lead the Pawlenty Presidential Exploratory Committee as campaign manager.
“Mary and I worked alongside Nick at the RGA. He is without question one of the best political talents in America. We are very excited Nick will lead our team. His leadership and record of winning tough races in every part of our country will provide even more momentum to our campaign to get America back on track”.
Ayers has one of the strongest political resumes in American politics with an unparalleled record of success. Starting in 2007, he led the effort to draft and implement a four-year political plan that turned the RGA into a political juggernaut that led to historic gubernatorial gains in critical presidential swing states. In 2010 alone, the RGA shattered all previous fundraising records, and Ayers managed a $112 million budget, deploying $102 million directly into independent expenditures and campaigns.
Following his work at the RGA, Ayers was tasked with former RNC chairman Ed Gillepsie to oversee the transition at the RNC by newly elected RNC chairman Reince Priebus.
Prior to his work for the RGA, Ayers ran former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s successful 2006 reelection campaign and served Perdue as his senior political aide for the five previous years.
Phil Musser, who has worked as a senior advisor to Pawlenty over the past two years and will remain in that position said, “Nick has proven his incredible talent in the political arena many times over. He has also long been our top choice for this job, and we are thrilled he has agreed to lead this campaign. He’s a man of character, faith and integrity who will take this organization to the next level, and hopefully to the nomination of the Republican Party.”
Ayers will re-locate to Minneapolis, and assume the position effective April 25.
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