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Santorum makes NH hire

The jockeying for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination has gotten off to a slow start -- at least compared to the '08 cycle.

But former Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Rick Santorum, who appears very likely to jump into the White House race, made some news today in tapping a conservative operative to be his PAC's New Hampshire director.

The scoop from the Union Leader:

Mike Biundo, the veteran Manchester conservative political strategist who guided Frank Guinta's campaigns for mayor of the state's largest city and then for the U.S. House, has been tapped as the first pre-presidential primary staffer by a likely soon-to-be candidate.

Republican former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum later today will formally announce that Biundo, 42, will be the state director of Santorum's political action committee, America's Foundation.

Santorum will visit the state for the eighth time in about a year next week, planning an appearance before conservative activist Ovide Lamontagne's new Granite Oath PAC at Lamontagne's home on Jan. 11 and then two stops in Bedford later that day and on Jan. 12.