ONCE CONSIDERING STEELMAN, KELLER MOVES ON
A top Missouri GOP political consultant who was seriously considering running Sarah Steelman's potential U.S. Senate bid will instead head the campaign of one of the Republicans attempting to oust embattled Senator Chris Dodd in Connecticut.
St. Louis-based campaign strategist Gregg Keller is slated to become the campaign manager for Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Tom Foley, The Notebook has learned through multiple sources.
Keller's move to run a campaign outside the Show-Me state offers more evidence to those who believe Steelman will ultimately not launch a U.S. Senate bid against GOP front runner Roy Blunt.
On the other hand, Sarah's husband David, has been public about his frustration with the power of political consultants within the Missouri GOP. And the Steelman's aren't likely to base their next move on a decision by a single consultant.
Keller, whose day-to-day organization skills are widely respected in Missouri political circles, was in close talks with the Steelman camp about coming on board to head her campaign. But in part because Steelman has not yet reached a decision on her 2010 intentions, Keller decided to move on and explore other options around the country.
A veteran of Jim Talent's 2002 and 2006 campaigns, Keller also managed Mitt Romney's 2008 grass-roots coalitions nationwide. In addition, he's vice president of Total Spectrum/Steve Gordon & Associates.
Keller recently signed on as a consultant to Sen. Gary Nodler's 7th District Congressional campaign. It's expected he'll maintain that role, but his focus will obviously be on Foley in Connecticut. That's left some southwest Missouri Republicans wondering who Nodler will hire to handle his day-to-day political operation when the crowded primary to replace Blunt heats up.
Foley, a wealthy businessman and former U.S. ambassador, is expected to battle former Congressman Rob Simmons for the chance to take on Dodd, who is already running television ads in his homestate. In the end, some Connecticut observers foresee a 4-way GOP primary.
Keller would not comment for this article.