Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk has had a trying few months. He was among the legislators sent scrambling for their lives at a baseball field in June when a gunman opened fire. And he and his wife were briefly hospitalized last week with non-life threatening injuries after a car wreck.
So when he held a fundraiser on Saturday, the campaign of state Sen. Rick Jeffares sent over a gift: A flak jacket and two bicycle helmets. Tongue firmly in cheek, Jeffares quipped in a letter that he's been surprised "by how rough fighting for liberty has been on you personally" and his wife Desiree.
"I thought the fights would entail more rhetoric and less gunfire - and that disaster assistance would be less dangerous," wrote Jeffares, who is running for lieutenant governor.
He adds: "Please wear them at all times because the future of our Republic may well depend on your safety."
Loudermilk, a second-term Republican from Cassville, and his wife were treated and sent home the same day.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that he was trying to merge into the right-hand lane just after midnight on Sept. 12 when his SUV was struck by a passing sedan. The collision forced the Loudermilk's SUV off the road, hurtling it toward an embankment. The other driver, who wasn't injured, was cited for driving without insurance.
Here's the full letter from state Sen. Rick Jeffares:
As your friend and former Colleague in the Georgia Senate, I had no doubt you would represent Georgia and America well in Congress. I have, however been surprised by how rough fighting for liberty has been on you personally and on Desiree. I thought the fights would entail more rhetoric and less gunfire and that disaster assistance would be less dangerous.
For that reason, I wanted to present you with this body armor and some crash-resistant headgear for both you and Desiree. Please wear them at all times because the future of our Republic may well depend on your safety.
Thank you for all you do for the 11th District and for Georgia and America.