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Jeb Bush has brought on a former top political adviser to Mitt Romney to serve as a senior political strategist and possibly the role of his eventual campaign manager.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that well-renowned Iowa-based Republican strategist David Kochel has joined the growing team of political operatives running Bush’s newly formed PAC, Right to Rise.

Kochel, who led Romney’s 2008 and 2012 bids in the state, will relocate from Iowa to Miami to join Bush’s growing team, according to the New York Times report.

 The hire isn’t just a clear signal that Bush is gearing up for a presidential run. It’s also a shot at Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, who is gearing up for a third-consecutive presidential run.  

Bush and Romney will be competing for many of the same donors and top-level political operatives, and recent reports are that Bush is winning that early battle. The Associated Press reported on Thursday that many of Romney’s 2012 donors have already committed to the Bush camp. 

Kochel’s hiring comes during a busy week for Bush’s PAC.

The Miami Herald reported on Thursday that the nucleus of what will likely be Bush’s campaign team has assembled in Tallahassee, Fla to launch the PAC.

The Herald reports that Sally Bradshaw, Bush’s top political adviser and a Tallahassee resident, will head the political action committee. 

Two Washington-based Bush operatives, Kristy Campbell and Matt Gorman, both moved from the nation’s capital to the Florida capital earlier this month, according to the report. Campbell is Bush’s spokeswoman, and Gorman, formerly the rapid-response director for the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2014, will likely play a similar role.

The team also includes Jesse Hunt, who was a communications director for former Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign in New Hampshire; Josh Venable, a former finance director for the Republican National Committee; Karen Unger, a campaign manager for Bush’s 2002 reelection effort; Brandi Brown, a director at Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education; and Pablo Diaz, a Florida lobbyist and businessman.

Bush launched the Right to Rise PAC earlier this month. PACs can’t legally coordinate with candidates, but Bush hasn’t formally entered the race yet, and some on the team would likely leave the PAC to join the official campaign if Bush decides to run.

This post was updated at 5:07 p.m. 

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