Washington (CNN) – Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has hired a key political operative and is planning to visit New Hampshire later this month, as he inches closer to a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
Michael Dennehy, a veteran of New Hampshire politics, has signed on as an adviser to Barbour's political action committee, Haley's PAC. It is a significant addition to Barbour's political operation as Dennehy is widely respected as an influential operator who oversaw Sen. John McCain's Granite State primary campaigns in 2000 and 2008.
"If he runs, he will be a formidable candidate given his two terms as governor of Mississippi and dealing with two crises: Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill," Dennehy said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "Given his charisma, personality and his excitement for retail campaigning it makes him a perfect candidate for New Hampshire."
Barbour will visit New Hampshire on March 27th and 28th for a handful of political events. He just wrapped up a visit to Iowa where he helped raise money for the state Republican Party.
The Mississippi governor, who has done stints as the head of the Republican National Committee and Republican Governors Association, is expected to announce his future political plans late next month.
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