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McCain scores a Bushite

Kathleen Shanahan, former Gov. Jeb Bush staff chief and current vice chair for Gov.-elect Charlie Crist’s transition team, was just announced as the newest member of Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential exploratory team.

Crist burnished his reformist credentials on the campaign trail this year with McCain, but has not endorsed him. He also campaigned with other presidential hopefuls, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Shannahan’s appointment brings into sharper focus the behind-the-scenes GOP presidential fight in Florida between McCain and Romney. With McCain having hired U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez’s former spokeswoman Melissa Shuffield. Miami State Rep. and GOP state committee man David Rivera also talked up McCain.

On Romney’s side: former state GOP chair Al Cardenas, former Bush campaign manager Sally Bradshaw and Bush fundraiser Ann Herberger.