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Pawlenty adding staff in Iowa; Decision still planned for early 2011

WASHINGTON — Gov. Tim Pawlenty has added a staffer to his Iowa operations in advance of the November elections and his increasingly likely presidential bid.

The staffer, Ben Foster, will be paid by Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC, according to the Des Moines Register, which fist reported the hire.

“Governor Pawlenty is working hard to help elect conservatives around the country,” said PAC spokesman Alex Conant. “Conservatives have a lot of opportunities in Iowa this fall, so we are doing everything we can to help local candidates by contributing time, money and staff help.”

It has been said of Pawlenty that he’s one of very few doing the kind of advance work required to build an infrastructure capable of supporting a serious presidential bid. POLITICO went even futher recently saying Pawlenty was the only GOP hopeful “taking all the traditional steps in pursuit of a presidential bid.

However, advisers say Pawlenty’s timetable has not changed. He’s expected to make a decision about his future in early 2011.

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