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Pawlenty Hires Nick Ayers for 2012 Campaign

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Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has tapped Nick Ayers, one of the most sought-after GOP operatives in the country, to be the campaign manager of his presidential exploratory committee.

Ayers, the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association, will take the helm of Pawlenty’s bid for the White House when he is expected to forge ahead with his full-blown campaign for the presidency, a Pawlenty source confirmed. Fox News first reported the 28-year-old’s hire Sunday evening.

Ayers served as the top strategist at the RGA in the 2008 and 2010 cycles — the latter of which was under the chairmanship of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, another potential presidential candidate actively looking at a bid. Ayers also worked at the RGA with Pawlenty, who served as the group’s vice chairman last cycle.

Because of his back-to-back tenure at the RGA, not only has Ayers worked on a campaign in every state in the country, but he can also boast that he has played a part in large gains that Republicans made in gubernatorial races across the country last cycle.

In March, Pawlenty announced he was forming an exploratory committee to run for the presidency in 2012. He is expected to announce a full-blown campaign for the White House later this year.

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