U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga) endorsed his House colleague U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga) on Thursday in a competitive Republican runoff race for U.S. Senate. Westmoreland is the first congressman from Georgia to announce his support for one of the Republican Senate candidates.
“Jack Kingston and I have been friends for 20 years, during which I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him and his wonderful family,” Westmoreland said according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For the last ten of those years, we’ve been colleagues and I have seen firsthand how Jack commits whole-heartedly to his work. Jack is one of the most gracious, humble, and hard-working men I know. His honesty and dedication to serving Georgians can¹t be matched."
Westmoreland mentioned Kingston's work on the Savannah port, commitment to conservative values, and attention to issues facing the military, veterans and farmers as some of the values that make him the right pick for the U.S. Senate. Kingston represents Georgia's first congressional district. Click here to read the whole statement.
Kingston is facing Georgia businessman David Perdue in the runoff. The two candidates made it to the final stage of the Republican primary when they received the most votes in the election last Tuesday, May 20, but neither one got 50 percent or more needed to win the GOP nomination. Perdue received 30.6 percent of the vote to Kingston's 25.8 percent.
Perdue is running for his first political office and he's branded himself as an outsider looking to get through the political gridlock in Washington and support business-friendly policies. Kingston, who's entered politics in 1982, first in state government and later in the U.S. House of Representatives, is running as a solid conservative with proven record of support for fiscal accountability and reductions in government spending and taxes.
The candidate who wins the runoff will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in the general election in November. In recent years, Democrats have not been much of a challenge to Republicans in statewide elections in Georgia, but the changing demographics in the South pose a threat to GOP strongholds.
Nunn, who similarly to Perdue is running for her first political office, didn't face any serious challenge in the primary, so she's been able to save money for the general election. Since Nunn has repeatedly criticized long-term Washington politicians, one might imagine she'd be much happier with Kingston as her challenger than Perdue.
“Who can beat Michelle Nunn? She’s an outsider, she polls very well against these career politicians,” Perdue said as was reported by the Daily Beast. “I’m an outsider, too. We think it’s because I’m an outsider, that trumps her outsider. Plus I’ve got a business background and can relate to and add value, too.”
The Georgia Republican congressional delegation is expected to endorse "one of their own" in the Senate race, whether publicly or privately. They withheld their opinion in the primary, since there were three congressmen running.