Iowa Tea Party leader joins Ben Carson's campaign
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Dr. Ben Carson (R) has landed an influential Iowa Tea Party leader to work on his likely presidential campaign.

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Ryan Rhodes, one of the movement's founding Iowa members, will join Carson's political action committee with plans to help him navigate the state's caucuses, should he make a run. 

"I'm joining team Carson," Rhodes tells The Hill. "I'm going to be working with his American Legacy [PAC] stuff. If he decides to move forward on a presidential bid, I'd love to see that happen and I'll be part of that effort."

The hire could be significant as Carson looks to make waves in the early-voting state.

Rhodes chose Carson after talking to other likely candidates, including Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOn The Money: Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl | Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term | Left-leaning group raises concerns about SALT cap repeal Biden watching Derek Chauvin verdict from West Wing Cruz opposed to state lawmaker's bid to replace Wright in Congress MORE (R-Texas) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

"Restoring the American Dream is very important to me and I really think he embodies that," Rhodes said in explaining his choice.

Carson has been gearing up for a presidential bid — he used a Thursday speech at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting to take on his critics, and will be in Iowa next weekend to deliver a speech at Rep. Steve King's (R-Iowa) presidential cattle call. Polls indicate he has generated a lot of interest in Iowa and could be a serious player in the state, though it remains to be seen how he fares on the campaign trail.

Rhodes backed Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (R-Minn.) during the last caucuses after being approached by a number of candidates. Bachmann later flamed out after winning the Iowa Straw Poll.