A person that political mavens will be hearing a great deal of in the next year or so is Nick Ayers. Yesterday, in the midst of Mitt Romney’s announcement of forming his exploratory campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination, it was little noticed that another of the ‘real’ candidates, Tim Pawlenty, had selected Ayers as his campaign manager.
Well, exactly who is Nick Ayers? This wunderkind has quickly risen to a top level among Republican advisors and was eagerly sought for a top post by a number of the leading candidates. Ayers attended Kennesaw State University in Georgia where he joined and became a force in the College Republicans. Through this, he became friends with then state senator Sonny Perdue. When Perdue decided to run for Governor in 2002, Ayers left school to work on his campaign.
In 2004, when Perdue began running for re-election, Ayers was named his campaign manager. After Perdue’s overwhelming victory in 2006, Ayers was picked to head the Republican Governors Association the next year. While in that position, he became closely associated with such potential presidential candidates as Pawlenty and Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi. During his tenure, Republicans gained seven gubernatorial seats, which only served to enhance his strategic reputation.
He was sought by both of the above-named candidates to work on their forthcoming campaigns. He chose Pawlenty, and will be a face that we will see on tv for the rest of Pawlenty’s campaign. Here is a video of Ayers being interviewed on MSNBC by Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie: