As Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels became the latest potential candidate to take a pass on the Republican presidential race, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania announced Monday that he was filling out his campaign staffs in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Santorum has been pursuing a “tortoise” approach, steadily working the grassroots with more visits to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina than any other candidate, potential or announced, while the news has been dominated by Newt Gingrich’s gaffes and successive decisions by big dogs to sit out the contest.
In Iowa, Santorum’s exploratory committee is hiring Jamie Johnson, of the town of Stratford, as state coalition coordinator. Johnson is a tea party organizer and a 20-year veteran of conservative campaigns across the nation. Also joining Santorum is April Baylor, of Ames, who will be assistant to the state director Cody Brown. They join Senior Advisors Nick Ryan and Jill Latham, and Field Director Lucas Draisey.
In New Hampshire, Kristin Beaulieu, of Nashua, and Tyler Carlisle, of Manchester, will serve as field representatives. Beaulieu previously served as a field representative for Jim Bender's 2010 U.S. Senate campaign as well as deputy campaign manager for Jim Luther's New Hampshire state senate campaign. Carlisle previously served as an intern for Rep. Frank Guinta's 2010 House campaign and mayoral races.
Santorum’s New Hampshire team is directed by National Political Director Mike Biundo, who also is the state director, and Field Director Nick Pappas.
With last week's withdrawal by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist Minister who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 and enjoyed strong support from social conservatives, Santorum is poised to pick up ground.