Former Jon Huntsman campaign manager Susie Wiles endorsing Mitt Romney

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Via Morning Score: Jon Huntsman’s former campaign manager is coming out Monday in support of Mitt Romney, POLITICO has learned. Jonathan Martin emails: Susie Wiles, who left Huntsman’s campaign this summer after clashing with other aides, is to be named a co-chair of Romney’s Florida advisory council. Wiles ran Rick Scott’s gubernatorial campaign last year, and she’s based in Jacksonville. By giving Wiles a title, Romney’s camp is tweaking Huntsman, who has been a relentless antagonist. That Team Mitt is even paying enough attention to Huntsman to essentially mock him is in its own way something of an honor. Romney, while taking on Rick Perry earlier this fall and more recently lighting into Newt Gingrich, has largely ignored his fellow Mormon. Sources familiar with Wiles’ thinking indicate that she’s signing up with Romney now because she’s concerned about Huntsman’s refusal to rule out running as a third-party candidate. Appearing at town hall meeting in New Hampshire over the weekend, where he’s staking his entire campaign, the former Utah governor again dodged the question. Of course, given the circumstances behind her departure it’s unlikely that Wiles would still be supporting her former boss’s candidacy, regardless of his third-party intentions.But with New Hampshire appearing ever more crucial to Romney’s hopes of winning the nomination, his camp wants to weaken Huntsman.Reminding Republicans that he’s open to the prospect of an independent run helps that cause. With Gingrich surging on the right, Romney now needs all the center-right votes he can get.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.