Keel has moved up a notch to the fifth spot on the hired guns list as a result after being ranked as highest-ranked female lobbyist in Texas for years.
Keel has been the ultimate contradiction in stereotype in a cutthroat industry that’s been dominated at the top by older white men. Keel will always owe Toomey a significant debt of gratitude for taking her under his wing and serving as one of the most valuable mentors a young upstart could ever hope to have. Some aspiring young lobbyists might think Keel had lost her mind with a decision to go solo at a time when Toomey would ostensibly be making them both richer in the wake of the COVID-19 role for the governor. But Keel has a chance to flourish now as a lobbyist whose services will be in greater demand without the inevitable baggage that apprenticeships and partnerships bring.
Toomey faces another novel new challenge that he hadn’t foreseen in his role as a covid response commander. For the first time in almost two decades, Toomey won’t have Lara Keel as a partner in light of her decision to go out on her own after spending her entire lobby career in his shadow. But Keel’s newfound independence is a wake up call for Toomey who no longer has the luxury of coasting with her as the number two. The amicable break-up should make them both stronger – and Keel has moved up a notch to the fifth spot on the hired guns list as a result after being ranked as highest-ranked female lobbyist in Texas for years.
I got to know Lara Keel through her work at the Texas Lobby Group and the Texas Association of Business. There is a reason Lara was named the top female lobbyist by Capitol Inside. She is the best political strategist I have worked with. She has long-standing relationships with legislators and understands nuanced issues. Legislators work with Lara because she is honest, ethical, and will work to find creative solutions. In my opinion, Lara is the top lobbyist in Texas. I highly recommend her.
I’ve known Lara since her time at the state’s largest business group over 20 years ago, and she’s now at the top of the lobby game in Texas. Lara represented Stratus Properties in a very difficult transaction, which involved multiple agencies as well as legislation. She not only headed the team, she knew who to bring in and partner with to achieve what we needed to win. No one will outwork her, and her communication skills, availability, and responsibility to me as her client, were key.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lara through various legislative roles during the past 12 years. Lara is a true legend in and around the Texas Capitol, and with good reason – she is unwavering in her devotion to her clients to do exactly what she says she will do, and accomplishing exactly what she says she will accomplish. Very few lobbying professionals come close to having Lara’s heart, creating unmatched value for her clients and colleagues.
“When I have legislative needs in Austin, my first call is always to Lara Keel. We have worked together for multiple organizations on complex issues. Lara is an expert in focusing on our legislative needs and provides successful results as our legislative priorities move through the complicated web of the legislative process. I know Lara provides value for our legislative dollar and far surpasses our expectations with her legislative leadership and knowledge.”
“Lara has consistently been ranked as one of the top lobbyists in Texas for good reasons. She is hardworking, dedicated and liked by members, staff and other lobbyists. She is a great asset to any team she works with. When you ask Lara to work on something her immediate response is ‘I’m on it!'”
“I first met Lara Keel over 18 years ago, and have worked alongside her as a State Representative, and subsequently as an active member in trade associations she ably represents – the Texas Land Title Association and the Real Estate Council of Austin. I have seen first-hand Lara’s strategic insight, commitment to client success, and grit. And I trust and respect her implicitly.”