Interview with Jerry Keen, July 11, 2018

Collection: Two-Party Georgia Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Jerry Keen was born and raised in metro Atlanta. Keen attended Mercer University in Macon and Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. He has worked as a financial management professional. A past Chair of the Georgia Christian Coalition and Director of Georgia Parents for Educational Freedom, Keen won a seat representing St. Simons Island and Glynn County in the Georgia House of Representatives in 2000. He became the Republican House Majority Leader in 2005. Keen resigned his seat in 2010 when he became senior consultant of strategic development at Troutman Sanders Strategies in Atlanta. Since 2018, Keen has served as President and CEO of Joe Tanner & Associates, an Atlanta-based governmental affairs, communications, and business consulting firm. He resides in Atlanta.

Keen starts by discussing his childhood, education, and early career. The interview turns to his interest in politics and work with the Christian Coalition of Georgia and the Georgia Republican Party. He reflects on Steve Forbes’s unsuccessful 2000 presidential campaign. Keen talks about his experience campaigning for and serving in the Georgia House of Representatives, including transitioning from the minority party to majority status in 2005. He recalls major legislative achievements, including the incorporation of Sandy Springs and his decision to retire in 2010. Keen closes by analyzing Georgia’s political past and its potential future.






Hyperlink Item Type Metadata



Jerry Keen and Ashton Ellett, “Interview with Jerry Keen, July 11, 2018,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed July 25, 2024,