Singleton at the Iowa Capitol, where he buttonholes lawmakers between forays around the state boosting Sarah Palin.
DES MOINES, Iowa—Prominent Republicans here pretty much splinter into two camps on the question of whether Sarah Palin will jump into the 2012 presidential race.
One side points to a mysterious California lawyer named Peter Singleton as proof that Sarah Palin will definitely run. The other side points to Mr. Singleton as proof she won’t.
“When it comes to Palin in Iowa, it’s pretty much Peter Singleton,” said Iowa Tea Party Director Ryan Rhodes. “The guy is everywhere.”
Neil King/ The Wall Street JournalPeter Singleton at the Iowa Capitol, where he buttonholes lawmakers between forays around the state boosting Sarah Palin.
Crisscrossing the state in a series of rented cars, the 56-year-old Mr. Singleton has spent the better part of five months visiting obscure county GOP chairmen, befriending tea-party activists, buttonholing lawmakers in the lobby of the state Capitol, and amassing a database of potential Palin supporters. His base camp is the Days Inn in West Des Moines, where he washes his shirts in the sink.
Deepening the mystery: Mr. Singleton swears he has never met Ms. Palin and has no contact with her team. “I’m just a dedicated activist working on my own,” he said.
Ms. Palin’s aides concur, insisting that she hasn’t met with Mr. Singleton and that he is in no way coordinating with her political-action committee.
But not many Republicans here buy the lone-wolf theory.