Gorham, New Hampshire (CNN)Jeb Bush will swing through New Hampshire this weekend, making his inaugural 2016 trip to the first-in-the-nation primary state ahead his expected presidential campaign.
Jeb Bush makes his New Hampshire debut
He's not the only potential candidate in town. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will also hit the trail in New Hampshire on Saturday, appearing at a grassroots training hosted by the state GOP.
Recent polls show the two Republicans are vying for the top spot in the crowded field of prospective candidates. Bush has the support of 18% potential GOP primary voters in New Hampshire, while Walker was just behind at 15%, according to an NBC/Marist poll released last month.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has also been in New Hampshire for a busy two-day tour Thursday and Friday, while Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas arrives Sunday for a dinner in the northern part of the state, followed by a breakfast in Manchester on Monday morning.
For his part, Bush will hold a round table discussion at Integra Biosciences in Hudson on Friday afternoon, followed by a house party at the home of former New Hampshire GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen.
Bush is also set to stop at a fundraiser for Rep. Frank Guinta, who previously served as the mayor of Manchester for four years. Guinta said the appearance is not meant to convey an endorsement for Bush. It's merely part of the courting process that many of the presidential hopefuls will go through with local elected officials.
"I want to get a sense of where all these potential candidates stand on the issues, how they work in a retail state like New Hampshire," said Guinta, who remained neutral in the last presidential cycle.
In 2000, Bush's brother, George W. Bush, lost the New Hampshire primary shortly after winning the Iowa caucuses. The same thing happened to his father, George H.W. Bush, in 1980, when he was thumped by Ronald Reagan in New Hampshire. Reagan went on to win the nomination, with George H.W. Bush as his running mate.
When Bush ran for president again in 1988, he lost Iowa but won New Hampshire and ultimately the GOP nomination and the presidency.
Jeb Bush has already started staffing up in New Hampshire, adding Rich Killion as a senior adviser last month. Killion previously helped advise 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's New Hampshire campaign in 2008 and Tim Pawlenty's short-lived 2012 campaign.
The New Hampshire trip is the second leg of an early voting state tour for Bush. He made his 2016 debut in Iowa last weekend and plans to travel to South Carolina, which holds the first primary in the South, next week.