Lara Laneri Keel has over twenty-five years of experience in and around the Texas Capitol. She was a founder and partner in the Texas Lobby Group since its inception in 2002 before striking out on her own in 2020. Lara has been representing the interests of a broad portfolio of Fortune 500 Companies and Texas business associations before state legislators, agencies, regulators, and Texas policymakers (78th- 88th Legislative Sessions).

Prior to founding the Texas Lobby Group, Lara served as an in-house business lobbyist with the Texas Association of Business and Chambers of Commerce (TABCC), the state’s largest business association, and continues to serve TABCC as an Executive Committee and Board Member. During her tenure at TABCC, Keel was an expert on employer-sponsored healthcare issues as well as cross-cutting business issues on taxes, education, insurance, and tort reform. Prior to her tenure at TABCC, Lara worked on legislative and policy issues in the Texas Senate with a deep policy and legislative understanding of Healthcare, Appropriations and Sunset Advisory Commission issues.

Raised by parents who made their living in a fourth-generation family business, Lara enjoys representing a wide spectrum of business interests at the Texas Capitol. She understands the impact that state government can have on all businesses that operate in Texas.

KEEL HAS BEEN named the top female hired gun lobbyist in Capitol Inside’s Texas Lobby Power Rankings Biennial Report every year since 2011.

A graduate of Texas Tech University with a degree in Political Science and a minor in History, Lara has been a student of Texas politics since 1989 and has built a reputation for success in all aspects of legislative lobbying and management of complicated issues for clients.

“A former Texas Senate staffer, Keel has been the highest ranked woman on the contract lobbyist list here for years.”

Capitol Inside – January 27, 2023

Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside February 9, 2021

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 Hailey
Capitol 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 Hailey
Capitol 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.

Leah Rummel
Business Executive

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.

Beau Armstrong
President & CEO, Stratus Properties

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.

Kandice K. Sanaie
Attorney at Law, Austin, Texas

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.

Terra Gray McClelland
Director of Government and External Affairs, Benevis, LLC.

“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.”

Holly Jacques Turner
Director State Government Affairs & Policy, Merck

“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!'”

Former State Representative Patrick Rose
President, Corridor Title

“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.”


“You get what you give and other words of wisdom from Lara Keel”  Pink Granite Interview.


Lara is a mentor with the Professional Advocacy Association of Texas (PAAT). PAAT seeks to provide professional guidance for newer members of the advocacy profession. Read more.


B.A. in Political Science, Minor in History – Texas Tech University (1993)

Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Psi Chapter.

Civic Activities, Achievements, & Awards:

  • Board Member – Wine and Food Foundation (2018-present)
  • Board Member – Imagine A Way (2018-present)
  • Highest Ranked Female – “Top Hired Gun Lobbyist” List, Texas Lobby Power Rankings by Capitol Inside (2011-present)
  • President –  Red State Women (2014)
  • Treasurer – Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (2012-present)
  • Dress For Success Board Member (2012-2017)
  • Women’s Fund for Central Texas- Grants Committee (2012, 2013)
  • Austin Business Journal Women of Power/Influence Winner (2010)
  • Texas Women for the Arts (2010-present)
  • “Top Hired Gun Lobbyist” List – Texas Lobby Power Rankings by Capitol Inside (2009)
  • “Rising Lobby Star to Watch” – Texas Lobby Power Rankings by Capitol Inside (2006, 2007)
  • Executive Committee Member – Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (2008-present)
  • Board Member – Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (2007-present)
  • Board  Member – Texas Association of Business (2003- 2007) (2009-present)
  • Texas Women’s Alliance (2005)
  • Executive Committee Member – Texas Association of Business (2004)
  • Power Pipeline, A Leadership Texas Program (1999)
  • Founder and Volunteer  – Grinch’s Gala (1994 – 2005)