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Ralph Reed Loses Georgia Primary Race

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  • Ram Lau
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/19/us/19georgia.html Ralph Reed Loses Georgia Primary Race By SHAILA DEWAN ATLANTA, Wednesday, July 19 — Ralph Reed, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2006
      Ralph Reed Loses Georgia Primary Race

      ATLANTA, Wednesday, July 19 — Ralph Reed, the former director of the
      Christian Coalition and a former Republican lobbyist involved in the
      Jack Abramoff scandal, suffered an embarrassing defeat in his effort
      to win the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor on Tuesday.

      Mr. Reed conceded defeat before 10 p.m., with his opponent leading by
      more than 10 percentage points.

      Early Wednesday, with more than 92 percent of precincts reporting, Mr.
      Reed's opponent, State Senator Casey Cagle, led with 56 percent of the

      Mr. Reed's candidacy was viewed as a test of the effects of the
      Washington lobbying scandal on core Republican voters.

      Mr. Reed, the former leader of the Georgia Republican Party, was a
      close associate of Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who pleaded guilty to
      charges of fraud, tax evasion and bribery and who arranged for Mr.
      Reed to be paid by Indian tribes that ran casinos to coordinate
      anti-gambling campaigns against competing casinos.

      "It's clear that politicians that put money before their morals should
      be very worried by these results," said David Donnelly, the director
      of Campaign Money Watch, which spent $100,000 to campaign against Mr.

      But some Democrats actually rooted for Mr. Reed, believing that he
      would be prove to be a liability for the incumbent Republic governor,
      Sonny Perdue, and that he would have been easier to defeat.

      "It may mean that Democrats lose the lieutenant governor's race," said
      William Boone, a political science professor at Clark-Atlanta
      University. "It certainly takes away the issue of corruption that the
      Democrats nationally have been using."

      Mr. Perdue will be challenged by Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, who defeated
      Cathy Cox, the secretary of state, in the Democratic primary.

      Most Republican office-holders in Georgia endorsed Senator Cagle, who
      spent most of the race lagging behind Mr. Reed in the polls. Some even
      asked Mr. Reed to drop out of the race.

      But Mr. Reed persevered, promising the most effective get-out-the-vote
      operation in Georgia history. In Cobb County, a key Republican area
      where he had boasted of winning a straw poll by more than 12 points,
      Mr. Reed lost with 11,600 votes to Mr. Cagle's 14,800.

      Throughout his campaign, Mr. Reed maintained that he did not know that
      the money he received through Mr. Abramoff came from gambling proceeds
      and said he was proud of helping to shut down casinos.

      "Tonight my candidacy for lieutenant governor comes to an end, but the
      ideas for which I stood, the values for which you have fought, and the
      governing philosophy that we believe in will go on, and it will go on
      to victory," he said in his concession speech.

      A Wallace Loses Alabama Race

      MONTGOMERY, Ala., July 18 (AP) — George C. Wallace Jr., the son of the
      former governor of Alabama, lost a Republican primary runoff for
      lieutenant governor on Tuesday.

      With 99 percent of the precincts reporting statewide, the unofficial
      count showed Mr. Wallace with 45 percent of the vote, while his
      opponent, Luther Strange, had 55 percent.

      Mr. Strange advances to the general election Nov. 7 against the
      Democratic nominee, James Folsom Jr., a former governor trying to
      restart his political career.
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