Huntsman's troubled campaign pulls staff out of Florida
What they are saying about Florida and the CNN, Tea Party debate

As Huntsman staff pulls out Perry adds three to Florida staff

It appears that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is sending a signal that he is very serious about winning the Florida Republican presidential primary even as former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman beat a hasty retreat from the Sunshine State.

In addition to announcing that he will be a major presence at Presidency 5, Perry's campaign just named three new Florida staffers - Nick Hansen, Bret Prater and Anthony Bustamante.

Here's the press release:

AUSTIN – Texas Gov. Rick Perry will participate in the Florida Presidency 5 (P5), including the P5 debate, CPAC and straw poll in Orlando, Fla. at the end of September. Gov. Perry also announced key members of his Florida team for his presidential campaign. Nick Hansen will serve as the Florida State Director, Bret Prater will serve as the Florida Political Director, and Anthony Bustamante will advise the Florida team’s grassroots efforts.

“Florida is very important to me, and I am looking forward to bringing my pro-jobs conservative message to Florida and the Presidency 5 straw poll events,” said Gov. Perry. “I have also assembled a strong team of Florida Republican professionals to help carry my record and vision for job creation and fiscal conservatism to the voters of the Sunshine State.”

Nick Hansen has been involved in numerous successful elections, including municipal, legislative and presidential races. He has served as a campaign strategist for Congressman Gus Bilirakis, Jack Latvala for State Senate, Sandra Murman for Hillsborough Commissioner, Bill Foster for St. Pete Mayor, and Deveron Gibbons for St. Pete Mayor. Hansen was the Tampa Bay Regional Field Director for Mitt Romney for President in 2008. Most recently, Hansen acted as a strategist and legislative assistant to Representative Jeff Brandes.

Bret Prater organized grassroots in Miami during the Bush-Brogan 2002 gubernatorial campaign, served as a Regional Victory Director in the panhandle during the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign, and has managed statewide projects for the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) for the past three election cycles. During the 2010 election cycle, Prater served as the RPOFs Political Director, where he oversaw the party’s Victory program, managed congressional affairs, and acted as a liaison to statewide campaigns. Most recently Prater was the Florida Political Director for Tim Pawlenty for President.

Anthony Bustamante served as Senator Marco Rubio’s Statewide Field Director in 2010. While in that role, he built up the grassroots organization in Florida by gathering support from local parties, the Tea Party, 9/12 groups, and many other conservative organizations across the state. Bustamante has also served as a Regional Victory Director and 72 Hour Director for the RPOF.

Presidency 5 will take place at the Orange County Convention Center, beginning Thursday, Sept. 22 and ending Saturday, Sept. 24. P5 will conclude with the Florida Straw Poll, featuring the participation of more than 3,000 Florida Republican delegates.

The presidency events in Florida have a history dating back to 1979, when Reagan won the straw poll.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.