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Much of Thompson's
Old Gang All There

Whenever Fred Thompson stops into his campaign headquarters, he'll see lots of familiar faces. The former Tennessee Republican spent the last few months constantly reshuffling staff, but the team he ended up with is full of veterans from Thompson's 1994 campaign and his eight years in the Senate. Bill Lacy, the campaign manager for the presidential run, ran Thompson's first Senate race, aided by Mary Ann Carter, who was then research director and now is deputy campaign manager. Mark Esper and Richard Hertling, both top policy aides during Thompson's Senate career, return in similar roles now and Bob Davis, who resigned his post as the chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party to help his old boss, is traveling with Thompson.

The old gang is unlikely to bring back the hallmarks of Thompson's previous tenure in politics-- the red pick-up truck Thompson campaigned in around the state and the campaign finance law he wrote with another 2008 candidate, Arizona Sen. John McCain, that is unpopular among many conservatives. But Lacy directed Thompson's unconventional campaign in 1994 and he'll have some help from another faction in the campaign that is used to getting actors elected. Todd Harris, the campaign's communications director and his deputy Karen Hanretty were top media advisers to Arnold Schwarzenegger's when he won the governor's race in California in 2003. He too announced his candidacy on Jay Leno's show.

With these new operatives taking control, Thompson's team continues to shed previous advisers. Jim Mills, who had been hired as a spokesman and Mark Corallo, who had been advising Thompson on strategy and media relations, have both resigned from the campaign this week.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  September 6, 2007; 4:30 PM ET
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I think Fred Thompson can win. Who do you think will win the Republican nomination? Thompson, Giuliani, Romney, maybe Ron Paul? Vote today at

Posted by: JengoPop | September 7, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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