Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s chief national advisor arrived in New Hampshire today for private meetings with the Bush team’s top state advisor and several Granite State Republicans.
David Kochel, who joined Bush’s Right to Rise PAC in January, has been meeting today with PAC New Hampshire senior advisor Rich Killion.
Sources said the two are planning Bush’s trip to New Hampshire on March 13 and 14 and starting conversations with New Hampshire Republicans. Bush views New Hampshire as a vitally important state, should decide to move ahead with a presidential campaign.
Kochel had been a key advisor in first-caucus state Iowa for both of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns. He signed on with Bush’s team the day before Romney announced that he will not run for president in the 2016 campaign.
The Right to Rise PAC’s hiring of veteran New Hampshire strategist Killion was announced two weeks ago.
To this point, the only event on Bush’s upcoming visit that has been made public is an appearance at a fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta at the Manchester Country Club on March 13.
Kochel is familiar with New Hampshire and several strategists in the state. He worked with Killion on Romney’s 2008 campaign and he also knows from that campaign former Romney advisor Jim Merrill, who is now a top advisor to potential Bush primary opponent Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Kochel also has worked with Mike Biundo, who is now a top strategist for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and with Colin Reed, the former campaign manager for U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown and current executive director of the America Rising PAC.
Kochel’s firm, Red Wave Communications, handled mail for the Brown campaign last year, working with Reed.
Sources said Kochel expects to be back in the state often as Bush moves toward what appears to be a run for President.