D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has hired former White House communications director and veteran Democratic media consultant Anita Dunn to help him craft his message for the final push of his re-election campaign.
Sean Madigan, a Fenty spokesman, said Fenty had retained Dunn's firm, Squier Knapp Dunn, within the past two weeks. On Sept. 2, Fenty paid the firm $14,400 for "advertising," according to campaign finance reports.
Sources who review media buys for D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray's campaign said Fenty will greatly expand his television advertising this weekend.
Although it's unusual for a campaign to make a major personnel hire a few days before an election, Fenty aides downplayed the move, noting Dunn had been providing informal advice to the mayor for several weeks.
This will be Dunn's second attempt this year to help the Fenty administration bolster its image. In March, D.C. Public Schools negotiated a contract with Dunn's firm to provide advice to Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.
Dunn is a veteran of numerous national and local campaigns, including Barack Obama's 2008 presidential race and the presidential bid by former senator Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) in 2000. She was also a longtime adviser to former Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) and worked as a media consultant to former Montgomery County executive Douglas M. Duncan.