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George LeMieux's fundraising, endorsement coup

Tim Pawlenty's decision to bow out of the Republican race for president has become George LeMieux's gain in his bid for U.S. Senate. LeMieux has hired Ann Herberger, Pawlenty's former fundraiser, for his race.

LeMieux is also coming off a particularly strong fundraising quarter where he pulled in nearly $1 million (80 percent for the primary). The addition of Herberger should help him keep his numbers up. But it's a crowded Republican field. Tampa's Mike McCalister is proving surprisingly strong and former state House Republican leader Adam Hasner has become a darling of the conservative intelligentsia.

Meantime, LeMieux's campaign just announced what it called "another major conservative endorsement this morning from the National Tax Limitation Committee PAC (NTLC PAC). The news comes on the heels of the campaign's recent announcement that Gov. Haley Barbour is supporting the campaign....

 As Florida's 34th United States Senator, George LeMieux was given the “Tax Fighter” award by the National Tax Limitation Committee, the “Taxpayer Hero” award by Citizens Against Government Waste, the "Friend of the Family" award by the Christian Family Coalition, and the “Guardian of Small Business” award by the National Federation of Independent Business. George made the debt and deficit his primary focus while serving in the U.S. Senate because of our nation’s unsustainable fiscal path.

Whether the group will help LeMieux win is an open question. It's not known for spending money on campaigns, unlike the groups who have endorsed Hasner