Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker has reportedly hired national political strategist Rick Wiley to serve as his campaign manager should he decide to run for president in 2016.
Wiley, a former Republican National Committee political director and veteran of multiple presidential campaigns, will assist Walker in building a political operation in advance of the 2016 presidential race.
A CNN source said Walker has no timeline for announcing his presidential bid but he will be forming “some kind of entity in the coming weeks to lend itself as a vehicle.”
The entity is reportedly likely to be a political action committee (PAC) that puts campaign contributions together from members and can donate those funds to campaigns for candidates.
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Meanwhile, Wiley has been reaching out to potential staffers, and Walker will attend the RNC’s winter meeting in San Diego next week to meet with committee members. The meeting will include delegations from early primary and caucus states that start the presidential nominating process.
Politico reports that Walker has a team of advisors who have won three statewide races in four years, but his inner circle was in need of operatives with presidential campaign experience.
Wiley fills that much-needed area as he worked with Mitt Romney’s general election campaign in 2012 from the RNC, and worked on the presidential campaigns of Rudy Giuliani in 2008 and George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004.
"The governor is definitely committed to putting a great team around him," the source said.
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Walker and his aides have said he will not announce whether he intends to run for president until after the Wisconsin legislative session concludes this year.
Should Walker decide to run, he may have competition from Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, who are all reportedly considering a White House bid.