NEW YORK and DES MOINES, IA -- With just over two months to go before the first-in the-nation caucuses, Michele Bachmann appears to be going all in -- in Iowa.
This morning, the Bachmann campaign announced the addition of new staffers, bringing their total to 10 paid staffers in the Hawkeye State. That number includes Iowa political veteran Eric Woolson, the newly appointed state campaign manager.
"We have a strong, experienced organization in place that is equipped to build upon Michele Bachmann's historic victory in the Republican Party of Iowa Straw Poll this summer," National Campaign Manager Keith Nahigian said in a statement. "Eric is the perfect person to lead our team to victory on caucus day."
Woolson served as the campaign’s communications director in the state since late September, and he had previously worked for Tim Pawlenty’s unsuccessful bid this year. During Mike Huckabee’s caucus win in the 2008 cycle, Woolson served as his Iowa state campaign manager -- so the same title he holds with the Bachmann campaign.
In addition to Woolson, the Bachmann campaign announced State Central Committee member, Wes Enos, as deputy state campaign Manager.
Seven staff members were named to regional positions, and, notably, outreach positions on issues important to the campaign's base. Four of the staffers are assigned to Northwest Iowa, Northeast Iowa, and the central and Southeast areas. Two are assigned to "faith leader" positions, and one is assigned to be "home-school coalition" director.
The Iowa staffing additions come just a day after the Minnesota congresswoman mailed in her filing papers to New Hampshire qualifying her to be on the state’s primary ballot. And they come almost a week after the high-profile departure of five of Bachmann’s New Hampshire staff.
John DiStaso, the New Hampshire Union Leader's chief political writer, today sourly quoted yesterday's campaign's press release announcing the filing. "We all know what Michele Bachmann thinks of New Hampshire," he wrote.
DiStaso added: "She 'reaffirmed' her 'commitment' (we're being a bit sarcastic here, folks) to New Hampshire by literally mailing in her first-in-the-nation primary paperwork to the Secretary of State."
But campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart tells NBC News, "We've been clear all along our focus is Iowa," and says today's staffing announcement shows the campaign is growing in the Hawkeye State.