Ralph Reed Loses Georgia Primary Race
By SHAILA DEWAN
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.