Draft GOP Rick Perry group opening office in Iowa

Rick Perry (AP photo)
Rick Perry (AP photo)

DES MOINES, IA (AP) - A group promoting Texas Gov. Rick Perry is opening an office in Iowa this week, even though the potential Republican presidential candidate has not declared his candidacy.

Perry has been calling Republican leaders in Iowa, home of the leadoff presidential caucuses, but says he is still weeks away from an announcement.

Meanwhile, Americans for Rick Perry has seven paid staff in Iowa who are talking to GOP activists about his record and attending Republican events, including a gun-rights rally Saturday in Poweshiek County. The group was formed in June by a Perry supporter from California.

The group's Iowa headquarters will be in West Des Moines. Its staff includes Craig Schoenfeld, who was Newt Gingrich's caucus campaign manager before he resigned in June, and several other former Gingrich aides.

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