Monday, July 21, 2008

Keen: "Confident" Richardson will remain speaker, and looking to 2010

House Majority Leader Jerry Keen was in Macon today speaking to one of the Rotary Clubs here. And he was asked about state Rep. David Ralston's plan to run against Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson. His response:
I will vote for Glenn Richardson again as speaker, and I'll tell you why. Public relations notwithstanding, he's done an outstanding job. He's devoted, virtually, his livelihood — he's an attorney, he's practicing very little law — going all over the state. And most, if not all, of the major legislation we've passed up there in the last four years since he's been speaker would not have been possible (without him).

Things like tort reform, where he cast the deciding vote as a trial lawyer. ... I think he's done a good job. I'm confident he'll be re-elected as speaker. I don't think there's any doubt that he will be."

That would be my guess, too. But the thing is, I'm assuming. If Rep. Keen is saying it, I'd say there's a good chance he's got a good reason, such as nose count.

Also, Rep. Keen confirmed that he's considering running for governor in 2010 and said he'll likely make a decision after the November elections but before the session begins in January.

He added that, with some Republicans in tough races to keep their seats this November, anyone announcing a statewide run while those folks need energy and resources focused on them is "ill advised and, candidly, self serving."

That's kind of a polite shot at Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, who has already announced his run for governor.

Keen, though, sounded like a man likely to throw his hat into the ring. He said he has a campaign "framework" together, meaning he's made his calls around the state.

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