By Kathleen Ronayne
CONCORD, N.H. — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is weighing a presidential bid, made his first hire in the key early voting state of New Hampshire on Thursday, bringing aboard political strategist Rich Killion.
If Bush formally seeks the Republican nomination for president, winning the New Hampshire primary will be critical and Killion has experience here. He worked on Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential bid and as an adviser to former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2012. He also helped state Senate Republicans increase their majority in 2014.
“Rich’s counsel will be critical to Gov. Bush as he outlines his vision for the future of our country and travels across America in support of conservative candidates and causes,” said Matt Gorman, spokesman for Bush’s political committee Right to Rise. “We’re excited to have him on board.”
Bush is planning a trip to New Hampshire on March 13 and 14, his first since campaigning with his brother former President George W. Bush ahead of the 2000 primary.
So-called establishment candidates typically do well in the New Hampshire primary, and Romney’s decision not to run opens the field for a candidate such as Jeb Bush. Other possible candidates such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker could also appeal to the establishment.