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Former Bachmann spokeswoman heads to Santorum campaign

WASHINGTON -- Alice Stewart, who served as communications director for Michele Bachmann's failed presidential campaign, has been named national press secretary for one of her former boss' chief rivals – Rick Santorum.

The hire comes at a time when Santorum's campaign is touting a spike in momentum and money after winning races in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri on Tuesday.  

The Republican presidential hopeful has pulled in more than $3 million in contributions since the three-state victory.

"He's right on the issues and hasn't flipped flopped on the issues," Stewart said of the former Pennsylvania senator.  "People are starting to recognize that. He didn't come to the game like Romney did with the name ID that Romney had."

Stewart will serve under the direction of national communications director Hogan Gidley. In the previous campaign cycle, they both worked for 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's political action committee, HuckPAC.

Santorum often jokes that he runs his campaign on a "shoestring budget," and even when money began to come in after his Iowa caucus victory, his staff remained small compared to those of his rivals. 

The candidate frequently travels without any members of his communications staff, which has on occasions led to logistical problems and miscommunication between media and the campaign.

"We always planned to staff up when the time is right, and the time is right," said Gidley. But he also cautioned, "We'll never be the bureaucratic, DC behemoth that Mitt Romney's campaign is … that's not what Rick Santorum is. He won’t surrounded by handlers."

The development reflects a split among senior veterans of the Bachmann campaign, who have remained friendly while being hired in separate directions.

Two members of Bachmann's staff went to work for Mitt Romney in the days after Bachmann left the race – including high-profile debate coach Brett O'Donnell.

(O'Donnell apparently split abruptly from Romney's staff last week.)

Reached by telephone Saturday night, Stewart said her move does not indicate that her former boss will endorse her new one.

"She's made it clear she's not in any hurry to endorse," Stewart said about Bachmann.

Bachmann dropped out of the race Jan. 4, one day after finishing last among the candidates competing in the Iowa caucuses.

Stewart will likely begin her new job next week when Santorum travels to Michigan.