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Marco Rubio Brings Aboard Former Tim Pawlenty Press Secretary

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has hired Alex Conant as press secretary, a job he most recently held for ex-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s now abandoned presidential campaign.

Conant’s first day at work for Rubio is set for Oct. 3. However, he will join the Senator in Orlando this weekend for Presidency 5, the presidential straw poll hosted by the Florida Republican Party.

Before serving as national press secretary for the Pawlenty campaign, Conant worked for Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and as a spokesman for the White House and the Republican National Committee. He spent the past two years advising Pawlenty until mid-August, when the GOP presidential hopeful dropped his bid.

“I am proud of the first rate team we’ve put together in the Senate, and Alex Conant is a great addition that will help keep Floridians informed about the important work we’re doing on their behalf,” Rubio said in a statement provided to Roll Call. “He is a skilled and experienced communicator who will be a great asset to me in the Senate as we work to create jobs, tackle the debt and keep America safe.”

Rubio, a tea party favorite and a rising star in Republican circles, won his Senate seat last November. He is often mentioned as a future presidential candidate or vice presidential pick but has made clear he has no interest in being on the ballot in 2012.

Rubio told Roll Call on Wednesday that he would not seek a Senate leadership position.

Positions in the Senate GOP leadership team opened up this week after Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) announced that he would relinquish his position in January.

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