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.

Mike HaileyCapitol Inside February 9, 2021

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.

Mike HaileyCapitol Inside February 9, 2021

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.

Mike HaileyCapitol Inside February 9, 2021

Lara Keel, #6 Hired Gun Lobbyist in 2019.

Capitol Inside 2019

Lara Keel – a former state Senate aide– is ranked higher than any other woman who represents multiple clients at the Capitol like she’d been in the early stages of every regular session since 2011.

Capitol Inside 2019

Keel is only the second female lobbyist to crack the top 10 on the hired gun list since the rankings were conceived in early 2003. Keel has moved into a league of her own as the only woman in the Austin to climb as high as sixth on the hired gun chart where she appears this year.

Capitol Inside 2019

The keys to Keel’s success have been a genuine and gracious nature that’s made it possible for her to rise above the cutthroat competition that’s an inevitable part of the territory in the business of legislative lobbying. Keel is one of the few if not the only full-time lobbyist who’s universally beloved and respected among her peers in the profession here. Keel’s one of the best in the business here in large part as a function of natural talent and a perpetual desire to keep getting better. She gives Toomey a massive amount of credit for what she’s achieved since he took her under his wing when she entered the occupation that she’s loves as much as anyone could.

Capitol Inside 2019

Austin lobbyist Lara Keel is the first woman in the past 12 years to be ranked among the ten most powerful hired guns at the Texas Capitol. She’s only the second female to have that distinction since the lobby rankings were conceived in 2003.

Capitol Inside 2017

Simmons will have a hall-of-fame level lobbyist as a mentor in her new profession as a new member of Mike Toomey’s team at the Texas Lobby Group. Simmons’ affiliation with the firm that Bill Messer and Toomey co-founded also will give her a chance to learn the ropes of the trade from Lara Keel, a highly-respected lobbyist who’s one of the group’s charter members.

Capitol Inside 2015

Lara Keel is Texas’ most powerful female lobbyist. Starting her career as a staffer in the legislature, Keel now represents the interests of state regulators and law makers.

Guardian Liberty Voice 2014

Lara Keel, a long-time lobby partner of Mike Toomey in one of Austin’s premier political-influence firms.

Texas Tribune 2014

The rankings in 2011 reflect the growing presence and clout that a newer generation of public affairs professionals have now at the Capitol as the proverbial torch is passed to them. Keel is a prime example – having been elevated to partnership status with lobby titans Bill Messer and Toomey in the star-studded group they lead at the same time she’s become the go-to lobbyist for women legislators at the Capitol. Keel – as a result – has vaulted into the top 20 on the hired gun lobby list after being ranked a rising star lobbyists just four years ago.

Capitol Inside 2011

I can think of no one who is a greater woman of power and influence in representing businesses before the Legislature and agencies in Texas than Lara Keel.  She is a standout in her field.

Austin Business Journal, Nancy Ebe, Ebe & Associates 2010

And its lobbyists are among the most influential…… Lara Laneri Keel, another Republican heavyweight who previously lobbied for the Texas Association of Business and serves on the board of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute.

Dallas Morning News 2009

Some of the lobby’s brightest young members like…Lara Keel…have graduated from the rising stars list in 2007.

Capitol Inside 2009

A longtime politico in her own right.

Dallas Morning News 2005 & Capitol Inside 2006