Republican sources confirmed Monday that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has hired Rick Wiley to serve as the campaign manager for her 2010 gubernatorial bid.
Wiley is a former Wisconsin GOP executive director who last year went to work for former New York Mayor Rudy Giulianis (R) 2008 presidential primary campaign. A formal announcement of his addition to Hutchisons campaign team is expected in the next two weeks.
Hutchison, who held a strategy meeting in Austin on Saturday with about 300 supporters, said over the weekend that a formal announcement on the gubernatorial race will come sometime this summer. But the Senator has already transferred millions into her exploratory campaign committee, and at Saturdays meeting she released a list of nearly 900 statewide supporters.
Hutchisons gubernatorial bid sets up a potentially ugly primary against two-term Gov. Rick Perry, who first assumed office in December 2000 after then-Gov. George W. Bush was elected president. Since Hutchisons Senate seat is not up for re-election until 2012, she does not have to give up her seat to run for governor next year.
Perry was also in Austin on Saturday addressing anti-abortion activists at a rally at the state Capitol.