Thompson tapped a new campaign manager Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Likely White House hopeful Fred Thompson is turning to the man who helped him win his Tennessee Senate seat 13 years ago to lead the "Law & Order" star's 2008 presidential campaign-in-waiting.
Bill Lacy, who served as Thompson's strategist and management consultant during his successful 1994 Senate bid, was officially named manager of Thompson's "testing the waters" committee Tuesday.
“It is an honor to be working with Fred again,” Lacy said in a statement. “My immediate goal to provide stable, hands-on leadership and to retool the Thompson operation to implement a non-traditional, message-driven effort.”
Lacy, the current director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, is also a former strategist for President Ronald Reagan, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, as well as the Republican National Committee.
Lacy's appointment follows the departure last month of campaign manager Tom Collamore, another former Reagan aide and one-time lobbyist for the tobacco industry.
Several GOP sources familiar with Collamore's decision acknowledged differences between Collamore and Thompson’s wife, Jeri, on structure and staffing.
The Tennessee Republican is formally expected to jump into the presidential race around Labor Day.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney