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Rising GOP presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina gets MN 'leadership team'

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Carly Fiorina's stock is rising in the eyes of Republican voters – and a team of Minnesotans (some you've probably heard of) is now in place to push her message further.

Minnesota Sen. David Hann and Molly Corrigan Cronin will serve as co-chairs of the state's Fiorina leadership team, according to a news release from the CARLY for America super PAC.

Hann is the Republican Senate minority leader and represents Eden Prairie; Cronin is a board member for the Center of the American Experiment, and co-chair of Minnesota’s Elephant Club.

Mike McFadden – an investment banker who was the unsuccessful GOP challenger to U.S. Sen. Al Franken in 2014 – will serve as the leadership team's vice-chair.

Another 18 people make up the team, including state Sens. Paul Gazelka, Mary Kiffmeyer and Carrie Ruud, and state Rep. Jim Nash (all Republicans).

All of them will "help build a grassroots network of support in Minnesota," according to the release, while spreading Fiorina's message.

MPR notes the Minnesota leadership team was not organized by Fiorina's campaign, but is part of the CARLY for America super PAC – which notes at the bottom of its site it is "not authorized or coordinated with any federal candidate or candidate's committee."

Fiorina's surge

The 61-year-old businesswoman, who served as CEO of Hewlett-Packard and President of Lucent Technologies, is on a political hot streak.

Her performance in the second GOP debate last week seemed to strengthen her candidacy further in the eyes of Republican voters –a poll afterward from CNN/ORC International found she was 15 percent of respondents' first choice to be the GOP nominee.

That's second only to Donald Trump, with 24 percent, and well ahead of the 3 percent support she got in a poll two weeks earlier.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday placed her third with 12 percent (behind Trump and Ben Carson) – but also found in a head-to-head matchup with Democratic candidate HIllary Clinton, Fiorina actually came out on top, 44-43 percent. That's well within the margin of error however.

But it's not all rosy from fact-checkers' point of view.

Vox said Fiorina clearly won the second debate – but said fact-checkers would "have a field day" with many of her claims, which "thrill conservatives but fall apart under close examination."

MotherJones, a nonprofit journalism organization, wrote Fiorina "makes a lot of stuff up about everything," and goes through a list of eight statements they found to be untrue.

Politifact rates half of the 12 claims they measured as "mostly false," "false," or "pants on fire."

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