Former Pawlenty spokesman hired by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio

WASHINGTON – Alex Conant, who ran the press shop for former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s now-shuttered presidential campaign, will be joining the staff of Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

A Rubio staffer confirmed the news this morning, which was first reported by Roll Call.

Rubio, a Senate freshman who was elected last year, is widely seen as a potential GOP vice-presidential candidate based in part on his youth and potential appeal to Latino voters.

Conant was spotted by this reporter from afar in a Senate hallway last week. Conant is not a stranger to the Senate, he previously worked for South Dakota Republican John Thune and also served a stint at the Republican National Committee.