Saturday, July 22, 2006

What Next for Ralph Reed? - New York Times

What Next for Ralph Reed? - New York Times: "In a telephone interview on Friday, Mr. Reed said he was proud of his campaign and glad that he had run. “I have been building the Republican Party and the pro-family movement for over 25 years, and I am looking forward to continuing that important work,” he said.

In his concession speech, Mr. Reed said he was not “not focused on being a candidate in the future.”

In the interview, however, he said, “First bids for elected office are always tough, and I am not the first person to lose a first campaign,” noting several examples, including Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Mr. Gingrich, who went on to become speaker of the House.

Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Friday that he was sticking by Mr. Reed. In an e-mail message, he said Mr. Reed had “played a vital role” in building the party’s grass-roots networks in Georgia and around the country. He added, “I look forward to continuing to work with him and value his friendship.”

Mr. Reed has retained his communications and consulting firm, Century Strategies, which in the nine years since he founded it has enabled him to amass a net worth of $4.5 million, according to financial disclosure forms filed during the campaign.

It remains to be seen how the revelations about his ties to Mr. Abramoff will affect Mr. Reed’s relationships with Christian conservative candidates or leaders. A Senate committee’s investigation into Mr. Abramoff’s double-dealing with his Indian gambling clients determined that he had paid Mr. Reed’s firm more than $4 million to organize Christian opposition to new Indian casinos on behalf of tribes with casinos who hoped to avoid competition."


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