Take Back Action Fund Team Members
As Take Back Action Fund expands into new states, we present this update list of our team members.
- John Pudner (President) - Pudner spent 25 years running Republican political campaigns
News after running Republican Dave Brat’s campaign to the historic upset of Republican Majority
Leader Eric Cantor.
- Charles Hellwig (Board Chair) - Hellwig, Wiechmann, and Pudner first worked together when
to nominate candidates. They worked the Virginia GOP conventions that set world records for a
political convention in 1993, 1994 and 1997. Hellwig then moved to South Carolina where he built
a real estate business and won political campaigns and now splits time between Myrtle Beach, SC
and Raleigh, NC where he has been elected County GOP Chair, a position he left before taking
over the Chair spot for TBAF.
- Randy Brooks (At-Large Board Member) - Brooks is the CEO of Avast Real Estate and built
following years of experience having interactions with politicians involving development deals.
Randy is one of the greatest promoters of multifaceted efforts from Take Back Our Republic’s
mission to supporting local youth sports. As a developer, he learned to build in acres for holding
ponds and other methods to prevent developments from flooding due to a lack of infrastructure
- Perry O. Hooper, Jr. (At-Large Board Member) - Hooper, a key power player in Alabama
and first Republican Chief Justice to the Supreme Court since Reconstruction. Hooper Jr.,
however, is a political force in his own right. First elected to the Alabama State House in 1983,
Hooper helped guide the conservative movement in Alabama as a leader on tort reform, the
creation of enterprise zones, banning partial birth abortions, and paving the way for new business
development. Having a hand in most conservative victories in the state, he has also been
instrumental nationally as a six-time delegate to the Republican National Convention.
- Maria Yost (Board Secretary) - After impressing other Action Fund Board Members with
the Action Fund, Yost was elected to the Action Fund Board.
- Lars Wiechmann (National Field Director) - Wiechmann brings his skills and experience
political campaigns and issue advocacy efforts across the country. Now based in South Carolina,
he started at a young age in his native Virginia, first as a Field Director in races for Congress and
Governor, then as a Campaign Manager for Virginia legislative candidates that included upset
defeats of entrenched incumbents. He also served as Finance Director and built from scratch
the fundraising operation that elected a first-time candidate as Virginia’s Lt. Governor - an
upset victory over a popular member of Congress. After the election, he served in the Lt.
Governor’s Office as Policy and Legislative Affairs Director. (See also notes on Charles
- Kristi Fortenberry (Georgia State Director) - Fortenberry’s combination of military and
advantages of using an instant runoff system to allow voters to have their votes counted
without requiring casting a second ballot - a particular hardship for military voters overseas.
- Joshua Jones (lobbyist) - Jones and Pudner worked on various campaigns together
- Baron Coleman (general counsel) - Coleman is more than just an excellent election
campaigns unseating entrenched multi-term members of state legislatures prepare him
for harding hitting battles, which have included leading the research team in the case that
led to the indictment and removal of a House Speaker. Prior to the formation of TBAF,
Coleman helped Pudner win local fights to stop zoning variances in the Midwest that would
have led to traffic, flooding, and other environmental issues for communities.