When former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for president, Matt Whitaker, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, was left without a candidate.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Tuesday that Whitaker, who had served as chair of Pawlenty’s Iowa steering committee, will join his campaign as state co-chairman. Whitaker was one of five Pawlenty Iowa staffers who have joined the Perry campaign. With its caucuses held so early in the nominating season, Iowa has emerged as an important indicator of a presidential candidate’s strength.
As for Pawlenty himself - he has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in what was widely seen as a snub to Perry, whose campaign has conceded that it also sought Pawlenty’s endorsement.
Whitaker is the managing director of the Whitaker Hagenow law firm of Des Moines. He served as U.S. Attorney from 2004 to 2009, but he may be best known for his stint as a tight end for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes during the 1990s.
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