Road Worrier Blog

Carter Wrenn takes aim at Tony Tata

Republican strategist Carter Wrenn was privately advising Tony Tata a few months ago, when the man who then served as our state transportation secretary was thinking about a run for Congress.

Tata no longer works at DOT, and he recently said he won’t be a political candidate in 2016 – “and probably won’t ever.” Wrenn – who publicly floated the idea of a Tata candidacy in June – now is taking shots at the retired Army brigadier general.

In a “Talking About Politics” blog post entitled “Webs,” Wrenn characterizes Tata as a “hapless fly” entangled in the “silken webs” of his own “evasion(s)”. He cites Tata’s response to a Sept. 20 News & Observer story about an Army investigation that linked Tata to at least two adulterous affairs and a forged court order.

Wrenn zeroes in on a statement Tata made to The N&O – regarding something about which Wrenn should have personal knowledge. Explaining his abrupt resignation from DOT in July, Tata said he had been “polling for Congress at the time,” an activity not consistent, he said, with his role as a member of Gov. Pat McCrory’s Cabinet.

“More webs,” Wrenn writes. “General Tata polled last February – months before he resigned.”

Well, perhaps Carter Wrenn doesn’t know everything.

Tata responds that he did indeed conduct polls in mid-January for a possible race against Rep. Walter Jones in the 3rd District – and again in late July for a possible run against Rep. Renee Ellmers in the 2nd District.

“Carter and Marc Rotterman were encouraging me to run against Walter Jones, hence the January poll in which they were involved,” Tata said Friday by email.

But, given his own history in Wake County and at Fort Bragg in Cumberland County, Tata later “determined that representing the people of the 2nd District was a more natural fit, if I was going to enter politics,” he said.

Tata, of Cary, resides in the 2nd District. Wrenn and Rotterman were involved in the January polling, but “a national polling group” handled the July poll, Tata said, which was mentioned on July 30 in the Daily Haymaker, a conservative Carolina blog.

Bruce Siceloff: 919-829-4527, @Road_Worrier