Tim Pawlenty on Monday named Nick Ayers as his exploratory committee’s campaign manager, locking down a top national operative for his all-but-certain presidential campaign.
Ayers will be moving to Minneapolis and to start work on April 25. At 28 years old, Ayers is one of the GOP’s young stars and top consultants. He headed the RGA during its massive gains of the 2010 cycle, and oversaw historic fundraising that topped $100 million.
Pawlenty has been aggressively staffing up. Ayers joins other top Republican strategists like Terry Nelson, Sen. John McCainâs former presidential campaign manager; Sara Taylor, former political director for President George W. Bush; Alex Conant, former RNC spokesman; former Minnesota Rep. Vin Weber and Phil Musser, a former RGA executive director.
Given Tim Pawlenty’s fiscally conservative record as Minnesotta’s governor, his blue collar message and faith infused politics, the Ayers hiring combined with the overall staffing indicates that Team Pawlenty is making an all out play to win the 2012 Iowa Caucus. If Pawlenty can pull off this feat, he would move to the forefrunt of the 2012 GOP presidential conversation.