Ralph Reed (search), former Christian Coalition director, announced Thursday he will run for lieutenant governor in 2006.

Reed, 43, filed the necessary paperwork earlier this month to begin raising money for the race. In his announcement, he pledged to "work tirelessly" for Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue (search) and other party leaders.

"It is long past time for Gov. Perdue and Republicans in the General Assembly to have a lieutenant governor who is a partner in governance and a philosophical ally," he said.

The current lieutenant governor, Democrat Mark Taylor (search), is expected to challenge Perdue for re-election next year.

From 1989 to 1997, Reed was executive director of the Christian Coalition (search), the organization formed by evangelist Pat Robertson.

Reed headed the Georgia Republican Party from 2002 to 2003, during which Republicans elected their first governor since Reconstruction (search). Both houses of the Legislature have since come under Republican control.

Reed was also in charge of President Bush's southeast regional campaign last year.