The Republican Governors Association announced today that Governor Tim Pawlenty will be its new vice chairman.
Pawlenty's new role puts him in the middle of the organization's efforts to elect Republican governors in 2010. The GOP count of governors is currently 22, with 37 states voting on that office next year. Pawlenty is not running for a third term in 2010.
In a news release, RGA chairman Haley Barbour of Mississippi said Pawlenty has been a leader in the effort to grow the Republican Party beyond its traditional base while remaining true to party principles. Barbour also said Pawlenty's firsthand knowledge of how to win in a so-called purple state will be a major asset.
Many political observers list Pawlenty as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2012.