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Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) announced Thursday that Erik Iverson will serve as general consultant and manager for his Senate campaign, which is expected to be one of the marquee races of 2012.

Iverson is a longtime aide to Rehberg and has been serving as an adviser to the campaign since Rehberg announced his Senate bid in February. Since 2009 he has run Iverson Strategic, a business and political consulting firm.

“Our campaign is a Made in Montana effort and I’m proud to have such an outstanding Montanan heading it up,” Rehberg said. “Erik Iverson’s distinguished career and long established roots in the state of Montana will help the campaign address the issues and problems that are facing our state.”

Iverson joined Rehberg’s Congressional office in 2001 and was appointed chief of staff in 2002. A fifth-generation Montanan, Iverson has worked for an opponent of Sen. Jon Tester (D) before. In 2006, he left Rehberg’s office temporarily to help out then-Sen. Conrad Burns’ (R) campaign. Tester defeated Burns that year and is now seeking re-election for the first time.

Iverson was elected chairman of the Montana Republican Party in June 2007, and as a political operative he is well-known and well-respected by both parties.

The Montana Senate race is perhaps the longest of any this cycle as neither candidate is expected to face a difficult primary challenge and therefore the general election campaign is well under way.

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