RALEIGH, N.C. — Sen. Jesse Helms may no longer hold office, but he is still affecting the upcoming election.
Helms attended a Republican rally Tuesday, a day after his 83rd birthday. Republicans, young and old, say Helms' endorsement gives a candidate added credibility. Some analysts agree it can make a difference, especially in a close election.
"The feeling that this guy was a great leader of the party and helped it and shaped it -- that's powerful as I see it," said former North Carolina State University professor Abraham Holtzman.
Helms served in the U.S. Senate from the early 1970s until 2003.