COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Herman Cain's campaign has hired a longtime Iowa political consultant to lead its efforts in the Hawkeye State, the campaign announced today.
Steve Grubbs, former Iowa Republican Party chair and CEO of Victory Enterprises, will now serves as Cain’s Iowa state chair and oversee the campaign’s strategy here.
Grubbs who told NBC News back in September that he would most likely not get involved during this presidential cycle, said he was impressed with Cain and he was a good mix of a business leader and social conservative.
“I am convinced now they have the plan and the resources to make it happen so I agreed to come on board to help them be successful,” Grubbs told NBC News by phone this afternoon. “We need to make sure we have a strong Iowa presence…but I support the national campaign’s efforts.”
The hiring comes just as Cain had been facing increased scrutiny about his campaign travel. He's criss-crossed the map in promotion of a new book, and hasn't spent as much time in traditional primary states as other candidates. Cain makes his first visit back to Iowa since August this Saturday. The campaign efforts here are mostly volunteer base, having just three paid staffers.
Grubbs, who worked with the Bob Dole, Steve Forbes and Tommy Thompson campaigns, said Cain could be successful in the Iowa caucuses set for Jan. 3rd.
“Success for Herman Cain in Iowa is anything better than 5th place like he finished in the straw poll,” Grubbs said when asked to define success.