The Washington Times - January 28, 2011, 03:03PM

Rick Santorum hasn’t made it official yet, but it sure looks like he’s making a run for the 21012 Republican presidential nomination. The Des Moines Register just reported this afternoon that the former Pennsylvania senator has hired a couple of key political advisors from Iowa.

Mr. Santorum, who has been visiting Iowa regularly over the past year, has hired Nick Ryan, who was an aide to former U.S. Rep Jim Nussle, and Jill Latham, who was part of Mitt Romney’s Iowa team in 2008.

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The hires come as the jockeying among potential GOP candidates intensifies almost seven months before the August caucuses in Iowa.

The news is also certain to fuel speculation that former Gov. Romney, the ostensible frontrunner for the nomination, is struggling in Iowa and may have to consider skipping the state lest it derail his presidential ambitions.