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Santorum Hires Two Iowa Operatives

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) has hired two Iowa-based political strategists to advise his America's Foundation PAC, adding new staff in Iowa after hiring an aide in New Hampshire last week.

Santorum's newest additions, Nick Ryan and Jill Latham, both work for the Des Moines-based Concordia Group LLC, which specializes in corporate and political consulting. Both have a long history in Hawkeye State politics: Ryan has advised Iowa congressional campaigns for more than a decade, and Latham served as the state director for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's (R) 2008 White House bid.

"I am extremely pleased to have Nick and Jill on board to assist with my PAC's efforts in Iowa and across the country," Santorum said in a release. "They have a proven track record of building grassroots support for candidates and conservative causes. As I continue to consider a run in 2012, they will play a critical role in helping determine if we are able to build the necessary support to embark on a possible run."

The addition of Latham is particularly notable, as she represents the second high-profile Romney supporter in recent weeks to join Santorum's team -- veteran New Hampshire activist Claira Monier took over Santorum's Granite State affiliate earlier this month. Latham is Rep. Tom Latham's (R-IA) daughter.

"As someone who played an active role in the 2008 Republican presidential primary, I have seen firsthand what appeals to Iowa Republican caucus goers -- conservative values, honesty and a commitment to standing up for what you believe in -- all attributes that Senator Santorum has," said Latham. "I look forward to working with Senator Santorum over the weeks in months ahead."

Santorum has visited Iowa nine times since November 2009, including a stop this week to adress the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

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