Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty hired Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, as a senior political adviser, the campaign announced Tuesday.
Huckabee Sanders will head up Pawlenty’s Iowa Straw Poll efforts, a key milestone for the former Minnesota governor’s presidential campaign. She was a national political director for her father in 2008 when the former Arkansas governor won the Iowa caucuses, and she ran Arkansas Sen. John Boozman’s 2010 campaign.
“Sarah is a results-oriented person with a great track record in Iowa and around the country,” Pawlenty said in a statement announcing the new aide. “We are very excited Sarah is joining our team just as we are hitting our stride in Iowa.”
The hire provides Pawlenty with a symbolic tie to Huckabee, whose 2008 Iowa campaign has been touted as a model by the former Minnesota governor following a disappointing Des Moines Register poll result and less-than-stellar fundraising numbers.
Pawlenty has been stuck polling in the single digits both in Iowa and nationally. He’s made a big push recently in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, releasing his second TV ad there on Tuesday.
During the June New Hampshire debate, Huckabee Sanders praised Pawlenty on Twitter. She tweeted that “Tpaw gets it” for his answer that “Our rights come from God, not the government.”