A former top aide to Iowa victors Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum is joining [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore]’s presidential campaign just weeks before the state’s caucuses kick off the election season.
Alice Stewart, who less than a month ago left Huckabee’s campaign, will be a senior adviser to Cruz. Stewart confirmed to The Daily Caller on Monday that she is working for the Texas senator and said she’s currently in Iowa with him as he tours the state.
A longtime Huckabee aide, Stewart worked on the former Arkansas governor’s successful 2008 Iowa campaign. She also worked for Santorum when the former Pennsylvania senator won Iowa in 2012 and briefly for Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign earlier during that cycle.
Before Christmas, Huckabee’s campaign announced that Stewart was leaving, simply explaining: “Alice Stewart is no longer with the Huckabee for president campaign.”
Both Huckabee and Santorum have struggled to regain the support they once had in Iowa though continue to express optimism. Meanwhile, Cruz has been surging, leading the pack in Iowa, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.
Huckabee, according to the polling average, is in sixth place with 2.6 percent. Santorum is in 11th place with .6 percent.
Like Huckabee in 2008 and Santorum in 2012, Cruz is benefiting from the support of evangelical voters in Iowa.
Santorum released his campaign’s first television ad on Monday that takes aim at Cruz. Referencing the Texas senator’s filibuster on Obamacare when he famously read Green Eggs and Ham from the Senate floor, the ad says: “You want someone to read one helluva bedtime story, Ted Cruz is your guy. If you want to protect America, and defeat ISIS, Rick Santorum’s your president. Because serious times need serious people.”
Huckabee has also gone after Cruz, questioning the authenticity of his opposition to gay marriage and other issues.