Rick Perry widens his circle of advisers despite lagging poll numbers

Rick Perry
Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry
AP Photo/Jim Cole

Like a contrarian entrepreneur, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is investing in his enterprise in bad times. Though the latest polls still show the Republican presidential candidate in single digits, he's expanding his campaign staff, on Wednesday announcing the addition of several policy advisers with national experience.

Also significant: the new hires further expand Perry's outreach beyond his previously tight circle of Texas loyalists.

They include Victoria Coates, who has served as an aide to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and has a Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance art and history from the University of Pennsylvania; she will advise Perry on foreign policy. Emily Domenech, who has worked in the Pentagon and holds a master's degree in Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, will serve as a defense, energy, and environmental adviser.

Economic advice will come from Sean Davis, the chief investigator and economic policy advisor for Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., from 2005 to 2008. Most recently the Chief Financial Officer for The Daily Caller, Davis holds an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania While working for Coburn, he helped establish USASpending.gov, an online tool that allows citizens to track information on federal grants, contracts and sub-contracts. It was created by legislation co-sponsored by the Oklahoma lawmaker and then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Perry is also bringing on Chip Roy and Brandy Marty from his gubernatorial office to serve as senior advisors. Shana Gooch, who comes from Delisi Communications, a political affairs and government firm with ties to Perry's office, will also serve as a policy associate.

  • Rebecca Kaplan On Twitter»

    Rebecca Kaplan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

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