Paul Steinhauser: Bush to NH next month, hires Granite State adviser
CONCORD - They were two of the biggest questions in New Hampshire presidential politics.
When would Jeb Bush visit the first-in-the-nation primary state, and who would be leading the former Florida governor's operation in the Granite State as he moves closer and closer to launching a presidential campaign?
Both questions were answered Thursday.
Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell announced that Bush would visit on March 13-14, adding that her boss "is looking forward to making his first trip to the critical state of New Hampshire."
The Bush camp says that details on the trip are still being formulated.
One week before he arrives in New Hampshire, Bush makes his first stop in Iowa, the state that kicks off the presidential primary and caucus calendar.
Campbell also announced that Granite State GOP consultant Rich Killion will join Bush's Right to Rise PAC as a senior adviser.
"Rich's counsel will be critical to Governor Bush as he outlines his vision for the future of our country and travels across America in support of conservative candidates and causes," Campbell added.
A Bush adviser who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely said that "if Governor Bush were to move forward with a potential campaign, Rich's voice would be a critical one for New Hampshire. He's one of the Granite State's most respected political strategists."
Killion's managing partner of Elevare Communications, a Concord based public affairs, communications and media services firm. He was an advisor on Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential run, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's brief bid for the GOP nomination in the 2012 cycle. He's also a former director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University.
Killion has also lobbied at the State House and last cycle ran the state Senate Republican Majority PAC, which was headed by state Senate President Chuck Morse.
"Although our party has many accomplished individuals, Governor Bush's track record of making conservative principles work for millions of Floridians clearly stands out and I'm thrilled to help him with the Right to Rise PAC," said Killion, in a statement released by the Bush camp.
"Governor Bush believes deeply in the transformative power of conservative ideas to renew America and to ensure every American has the right to rise our economic ladder. His optimistic vision and willingness to fight to remove the barriers to upward mobility is a message that needs to be heard in every corner of the Granite State," Killion added.
The Bush visit and hire of Killion was first reported separately by the Boston Globe's James Pindell and WMUR's Josh McElveen.