WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Fred Thompson, hoping to solidify his ever-changing inner circle for a Republican presidential bid, has named strategist Todd Harris to head his communications department.

Harris, a former aide to Sen. John McCain and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, will replace Linda Rozett who left the fledgling campaign operation earlier this week, according to a Thompson aide who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Harris served as deputy communications director to McCain during the Arizona senator's 2000 presidential race.

He was communications director to then-Gov. Jeb Bush for the 2002 gubernatorial campaign in Florida.