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Georgia 2018: A ‘Draft Lynn’ for governor campaign surfaces

“Georgia needs Lynn.”

So ends a lengthy plea sent to droves of Georgia Republicans on Tuesday urging former U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland to join the 2018 race for governor.

One of the most colorful personalities in Georgia politics, the Coweta County Republican embarked on a “reconnect tour” after his decision last year not to run for another term in Congress. But he hasn’t yet jumped in the race – or ruled it out.

The recruiting effort – complete with a DraftWestmoreland.com website and petition – avows Westmoreland will overhaul the tax code, improve the education system and “fix Georgia’s transportation infrastructure to make it the envy of the country.”

He also would spice up the governor’s race: The six-term congressman has a long history of remarkably candid comments that's at the heart of his appeal to voters.

Three Republicans are already in the race – Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sen. Hunter Hill – and more are considering a run. Several Democrats also are likely to enter the contest, including House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and state Rep. Stacey Evans.

Now some political calculus: The forces behind two of Georgia's more prominent political networks - Gov. Nathan Deal and Sen. David Perdue - are still looking for an alternative to the slate that's out there. With former Perdue aide Nick Ayers rumbling about a run, Westmoreland could be Deal's choice.

Westmoreland, 67, said recently that he was talking to his wife about a gubernatorial bid “pretty much on a daily basis” but that he probably won’t announce his decision until early July.

"When Brian (Kemp) announced, everybody kind of hit the panic button. My phone lit up with people telling me I’ve got to announce,” he said. “I said, ‘I’m not going to let somebody else’s decision force a decision for me.’”

So there’s that.

More: Georgia governor race: Who is running in 2018

Here’s the full “Draft Lynn” pitch:

We live in an incredible state. We are fortunate to call Georgia home.


Georgia is the #1 state to do business. We have the world’s busiest airport and the fastest growing port. We are home to Coca-Cola, Delta, Aflac, SunTrust, UPS and The Home Depot. We are proud to be known as the Peach State, but we are also the chicken capitol of the world, grow the sweetest onions, the best peanuts, the tastiest apples and the strongest cotton fiber. And Georgia is deep-rooted in military history – with thousands of military families serving as the tip of our nation’s spear.


From the golden coast, through the plains to the mountains, each part of Georgia is unique. We are home to the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, Thrashers, Bulldogs, Bears, Owls, Eagles, Yellow Jackets and Panthers.


We live in an incredible state. And we are fortunate to call Georgia home.


We’ve also been blessed to be led by some incredible Georgians, like Zell who gave Georgia hope, Sonny who turned a deficit into a surplus and Nathan who made Georgia the best place in the nation to do business.


Now, we begin the process to find the next great leader of this incredible state. Georgia needs a Governor who will prioritize our challenges, offer fresh new solutions and lead us into the next decade.


Fortunately, we have that in Lynn Westmoreland. Lynn has always put Georgia first – as a State Representative, State House Republican Leader and a senior Member of the United States Congress. Lynn has always been there for Georgia. And once again, Georgia needs Lynn – this time as Governor.


Lynn has never backed down from a challenge and as Governor, Lynn will fix Georgia’s transportation infrastructure to make it the envy of the country, improve our education system at all levels so Georgians will know more so they can earn more, and reform government and the tax code to empower individuals and business to keep Georgia the #1 state to do business.


With Lynn, you know what you get, and he will always do what’s right, even if nobody is looking.


We need your help. Join us today by signing the petition to draft Lynn Westmoreland for Governor. Your support in drafting Lynn to be Georgia’s next Governor is critical in deciding the direction of our state in the next four and half years. Please also LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter. Your commitment to this effort will tell Lynn we need him to lead us once again.


Georgia needs Lynn.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.