Romney Taps Former Utah Gov to Head Transition Team

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has chosen former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt to lead his transition team to the White House, a move to try and ensure a seamless transition should the candidate be elected this fall.

The team, dubbed by the campaign the "Readiness Project," will help a future Romney administration be poised to transition into the White House smoothly during the short time period between Election Day and Inauguration Day, the campaign said.  Leavitt's new position was first reported by Politico.

"This is exactly what the bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2010 encouraged candidates to do," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul, who confirmed Leavitt's appointment.

Leavitt and Romney first met back in 2002, when the then-governor picked Romney to run the failing Salt Lake City Olympics. The two - both Mormons - have stayed close over the years, Leavitt campaigning with Romney throughout the primary contests.

Leavitt served as the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the George W. Bush administration.

The campaign added that it would have been irresponsible for Romney to not have developed this task force, and noted that President Obama formed a similar committee during his campaign.

The Presidential Transition Act was amended in 2010 to allow services for presidential candidates to begin to prepare for a transition prior to the general election.

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