BOSTON -- Republican Mitt Romney has named a top aide to a conservative Florida congressman to his presidential committee staff as a third deputy campaign manager.
The selection of yet another high-level campaign official with Florida ties underscores the attention Romney has devoted to the delegate-rich Sunshine State, where lawmakers are considering moving up the state's 2008 presidential primaries to early February. Jason Roe will join two other deputies in assisting campaign manager Beth Myers. He has worked in Washington for Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., since 2003. He previously worked for a Michigan lawmaker and in the Commerce Department.
For three months last year, Roe was on leave from Feeney's office to serve as campaign manager for Republican Peter Roskam's campaign for Illinois' 6th District House seat. Roskam ended up defeating Democrat Tammy Duckworth, an Iraqi war veteran who lost both her legs after her helicopter was shot down. Roe did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
"It's of great benefit to us that he's from Florida, given that Florida is going to play an important part in this primary and general election process, but this hiring is much more an indication of his national political skills organizing skills," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said.
Roe joins a Romney roster that already includes fundraiser Ann Woods Herberger, who was a top money raiser for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sally Bradshaw, who was Bush's chief of staff. Al Cardenas, the former chairman of the Florida Republican Party, is also a campaign adviser and recorded the campaign's first Spanish-language ad before Romney visits to Miami and Tampa on Friday and Saturday.