From the Tip Line:
Jerry Keen Enters Stage Lite (Gov)

A very credible source from the tip line says that Jerry Keen is expected to enter into the Lite Gov’s race. We hear that Representative Keen has been making the rounds with the G8, letting them know he intends to enter.

While we have no doubt as to the integrity of the source, we didn’t want to put something like this up without touching base with other contacts. Of the others talked to, Peach Pundit has received other confirmations that Keen has begun the slow contact of G8 members and key supporters of his own.

Peach Pundit is told that Keen has been privately urged by current supporters of both Reed and Cagle.

[UPDATE]: This post has generated some phone calls and I want to provide an update. Several individuals speculate that Rep. Keen has decided, whether accurate or not (and I think not), that Ralph Reed is going to withdraw from the race. It has been well documented that Keen and Reed spoke prior to Reed’s announcement. Likewise, it is known that Keen was the Georgia Christian Coalition Chair when Ralph Reed was in charge of the coalition. If Keen is convinced that Reed is going to back out and Reed convinces Keen otherwise, Keen may never actually go beyond testing the waters.

25 comments

  1. Silence says:

    I hate to say I told you so :D….if this indeed happens, Cagle will take a very distant third seat. It would most likely become the type of situation that was experienced in the 2002 11th Congressional primary between Cecil Staton, Bob Herriot, and the incumbent Congressman, Phil Gingrey.

  2. Silence says:

    Chris,

    From the perspective of a Dem, how does this change the dynamics of the race? Is Max Cleland the Dem of which we hear rumors?

    Silence

  3. jackson says:

    I would hardly think that someone like Jerry Keen would get in. Wasn’t he in the Christian Coalition with Ralph Reed? Why would he run against him and split many of the same supporters?

    My thought is Jerry Keen is smart enough to figure out what many of us have been saying on this for a while: Ralph Reed is a liability to our party and is hurting…even with his own base. Jerry Keen it seems it pretty smart politically and can probably see the handwriting on the wall. That is why he is probably putting feelers out.

    Another point: If Jerry Keen waits until Ralph Reed pulls out/implodes, Jerry Keen wont be able to raise money until after the session, putting him WAY WAY behind Casey Cagle. This is assuming Ralph Reed stays in for another month or so. If he get’s in with Ralph Reed still in, it just proves that Ralph Reed is really week, and they will split much of the same pot. While he could take some support from Casey Cagle, I would bet much more would come from Ralph Reed, based on their past affiliations and supporters.

    Anyway, that is just my take. BTW, Silence, I bet you could talk to Tommie Williams. He is close to Jerry Keen, isnt he? 🙂

  4. kingmaker says:

    Word is that Keen is prepared to jump in only if Reed gets out. Perhaps this signals some big news coming from the Reed camp…

  5. Jack S says:

    Wasn’t Jerry Keen the chair of the Christian Coalition in Georgia under Ralph Reed? And wasn’t Jerry the guy in the House carrying that lottery ticket on the internet bill for the same company that Ralph was working for and is now in so much trouble for? I’m just re-reading this story on Ralph and just put all this together.

    Was Jerry working for Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed on this?

    I’m just piecing this all together from the AJC report on Ralph.

  6. Bill Simon says:

    For several reasons, I think this story is a lot of bunk:

    1) Jerry Keen is Majority Leader in the House under the first Republican Speaker of the House in, like, forever. Things are just beginning to get fun for these GOPers in the House. If he was to run for Lt. Governor, he’d have to resign his seat pretty much immediately. And, unlike Bill Stephens, Jerry is pretty well-grounded to being in the House right now.

    2) Ralph WILL NOT withdraw from this race. To do so at this point would indicated his world of clients that he is a wussy, and that there probably is something significantly shady about him. Tht is, he would lose a ton of business if he withdrew.

    3) Ralph needs all of this money he’s raising to pay for his business expenses. So, again, he’s in this to the end.

  7. landman says:

    The only way JK gets in is if RR bows out and thats not going to happen.If it were to become a three horse race CC would be the net winner.JK and RR would split the far religous right vote,but I dont see Jk pulling many of CC’s supporters over.

    The big question is how much money is left across the state?Between the storms and the political giving a huge amount of the big donors have been hit pretty hard.

    If this in fact is true and JK does not enter the race ,he has made RR look like damaged goods.

    My guess is this will fuel more rumors of others getting in this race,but I think RR stays in and the race is full….We shall see!!!

  8. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    Rumors of Ralph’s demise can certainly help Casey’s fund raising. Casey is in a great position to take control of the race even more if Ralph gets out. Jerry Keen is a great guy but not LT Gov material. Casey would win the primary going away.

  9. Silence, I don’t know if ambitious Democrats can escape the magnet of the Secretary of State’s race, seeing as we already have four candidates.

    I guess it wouldn’t suprise me if a legislator in the leadership jumped into this race, though.

  10. Silence says:

    I have talked to Tommie, actually.

    UGA Wins 2005 — argue your point to me. Why wouldn’t Jerry take some of the money that would otherwise go to Casey? It could very well be argued that Jerry is imminently more qualified for the post. Thoughts?

  11. DoubleDawg3 says:

    I’m not really seeing how this helps out CC so much (as some of you have suggested). Yes, I agree that its safe to assume that JK and RR do split some of the vote/money, but to that I’d suggest that CC doesn’t have much of a shot of winning the primary outright in a three way race either. So then it comes down to a runoff between CC vs. JK/RR, with supporters of one, almost certain to vote for the other, either b/c of the Christian Coalition connection, or the dislike/discontent with Cagle.

    I am one, of many I would venture to guess, Republicans that is happy with neither RR or CC and would welcome Jerry Keen, or Hermain Cain, or any other qualified Republican into this race.

  12. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    Silence,

    No way Jerry is more qualified than Casey to lead the Senate and carry on the activities of the Lt Gov. In addition to having a great relationship with most of the Senators already, Casey has been there long enough to step in tomorrow and begin running the chamber. Additionally, there are rumors that Jerry would bring his own baggage to the race, sort of like a “Ralph lite.”

    Casey continues to collect contributions, produce his “Read about Reed” releases, keep a very busy schedule around the state and move forward. He is exactly where he needs to be right now.

  13. Silence says:

    CC continues to collect contributions, run his attack pieces on Ralph…where the FREAKING heck is the guy’s agenda? What is his plan? Why can’t we “Read About Casey’s Plan for Georgia?” Obviously, I’m pissed. I’m sick of hearing about Ralph Reed, but I’m even more sick of hearing about Casey Cagle and his worshippers talk about Ralph Reed. Ya’ll already know Jerry Keen is my candidate of choice for this race. If Jerry stays out, Ralph is still the candidate to beat. However, when I talked to people on the Hill yesterday, JK’s message had already changed in his calls to the higher ups, changed to a more sure, definite of what his next step would be.

    Now, I have a question: Cagle supporters, one and all: if it’s such a big deal for Casey to have the endorsement of all the Senators, how can you supporters of Brian Kemp/Casey Cagle then turn around and argue that Gary Black’s gargantuan list of legislative etc endorsements are null and void? It’s just a common theme I’ve noticed over the last several months, and I’m just curious.

    Just as a side note, I do agree with you, UGA: I think we beat Alabama for the SEC title this year, and play against one of the top two. Which one, I don’t know. Rock on, Dawgs. Anyway, I digress.

    “Casey knows enough to step in tomorrow and start running the chamber…” Bawhahhahahahaha. Do you really think that EJ and TW are going to let go and let Cagle “run” the Senate? C’mon, you can’t seriously believe that.

    Finally, compare Casey’s resume with Jerry Keen’s. See who’s more qualified.

  14. Silence says:

    Several scenarios are possible here:

    1. Jerry Keen stays put. In such case, Ralph Reed still wins 52 – 48.

    2. Jerry Keen jumps in, Ralph Reed stays put. Primary election outcome, Cagle 30%, Reed 33%, Keen 37%. Cagle drops out, endorses Keen, Keen wins runoff 55 – 45.

    3. Jerry Keen jumps in, Ralph Reed drops out. Keen wipes floor with Cagle, 60 – 40.

  15. Silence says:

    Forgot something: scenario three, Reed drops out, quietly helps Keen. Not public endorsement, but he gives JK his rolodex…

  16. landman says:

    Silence,Please take a big breath,Im starting to get concerned about your mental well being.Your credibility is starting to wane in a large way,at this point I strongly believe if Bobby Kahn were to announce he was running in the LG or Ag Comm. race you would support him due to your dislike of McElhannon.

    If JK decides to enter this race which I dont believe he will,because I dont think he has the ba*** to take the risk.The dynamics of the race will change,but it is not doomsday for CC in any way.

    CC’S qualifications for this position will stand up with Keen’s favorably.

    We can agree on the Dawgs kickin butt this year,so relax dont get so hostile ,its not worth having a stroke over!!

  17. Bill Simon says:

    Landman: You state the following: “The big question is how much money is left across the state?Between the storms and the political giving a huge amount of the big donors have been hit pretty hard.”

    This is why Ralphie Poo is going OUT of state to raise money.

  18. Silence says:

    Just to tell the truth of the matter…only 22 percent of Ralphie Poo’s money came from out of state during the last fundraising cycle…

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