A former wonder-boy of Republican electoral politics, Reed ran the South for President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. Bush carried the region by a large margin, helping the GOP to post wins in five open U.S. Senate contests.
The lieutenant governor's office has served as the launching pad for more than one prominent elected official. Retired U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., held it for 16 years before becoming Georgia's chief executive.
If Reed can win the No. 2 spot, he would already have a campaign organization, a donors list, a campaign kitty and four years of statewide elected office experience by the time the 2010 gubernatorial contest roles around, at which time Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue -- if he wins re-election in 2006 -- would have to leave office because of term limits.