Carter Wrenn, who for decades struck fear into the hearts of North Carolina Democrats, is getting back into the political consulting business.
Wrenn has signed on as general consultant and chief strategist to help Renee Ellmers, a registered nurse and Republican who plans to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, Rob Christensen reports. He also agreed to a similar role for Raleigh publisher Bernie Reeves, if Reeves decides to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Miller next year.
Wrenn has been talking with other candidates as well.
Wrenn was a key strategist for the late Sen. Jesse Helms from the 1970's through the 1990's and also played a role in helping elect Republican U.S. Sens. John East and Lauch Faircloth. He also ran Helms' major political organization, the National Congressional Club, until it went out of business in the 1990s.
But Wrenn had basically retired from political campaigns since he was the chief strategist for Richard Vinroot's gubernatorial campaign in 2000. Wrenn has devoted most his energies to writing, working for corporate clients or appearing as a political analyst on TV.
Earlier this year, he re-entered politics, by handling the internet fundraising for New York conservative congressional candidate Doug Hoffman.
"It mostly depends on the candidates," Wrenn said. "I am enjoying it. I might do more of it. It's a lot of work. You have to have a candidate who is worth doing it for."
Wrenn said he decided to work for Ellmers because she is a political newcomer without a political bone in her body.
"I thought that that is the kind of person we need in public office."
He noted that Reeves is a long-time friend.
"Working with Bernie would be fun," he said.