Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and an adviser on his campaign, will join former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign as a senior adviser, the campaign announced today.
Huckabee Sanders will focus on bolstering the campaign’s grassroots efforts ahead of August’s Ames Straw Poll.
“Sarah is a results-oriented person with a great track record in Iowa and around the country,” Pawlenty said in a statement. “We are very excited Sarah is joining our team just as we are hitting our stride in Iowa.”
“I’m delighted to join the Governor and First Lady in Iowa, which holds a special place in my heart,” Huckabee Sanders said. “It’s clear to me that Gov. Pawlenty has what it takes to unite the party, unite the country and beat President Obama.”
Mike Huckabee won the 2008 Iowa caucuses with his daughter serving as his national political adviser. She went on to serve as the campaign manager for John Boozman’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2010.
Pawlenty is laying the groundork to make a big push in Iowa, where he has released two television ads and will spend time campaigning this week. He’s been burdened with low polling numbers and light fundraising, but alluded to the Huckabee campaign in a fundraising announcement last week.
Huckabee Sanders is at least the second major former Huckabee staffer to join Pawlenty’s campaign: Eric Woolson served as Huckabee’s 2008 Iowa campaign manager and joined Pawlenty’s crew in March.