HAMILTON – U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Grantville, said he hasn’t decided whether to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss in 2014.
Chambliss announced last week he won’t run for re-election.
“I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls,” Westmoreland said Monday, while speaking to a group of Harris County business leaders. “It’s been nice having people think it’s something I can do.”
Westmoreland says it’s too soon to decide.
“A quick decision can sometimes be a bad decision,” he said.
He expects at least two or three potential candidates to announce their intentions within the next week. He believes Georgia’s Congressional delegation should sit and talk about a potential Republican nominee before the field gets crowded.
He expects up to 10 people could seek the office.
“We will lose our influence if five or six (Congressmen) wind up running,” Westmoreland said, and that would also drain the resources of the Republican national committee if several candidates wound up needing support.
“People outside politics may wind up running,” he said. “We could get a self-funded candidate. That would make things rougher.”
In the meantime, Westmoreland says he’s happy being a representative. He was elected in 2007.
“I like doing what I’m doing,” he said. “I represent a little piece of heaven. To me, running for office is about what you can accomplish for your district. I enjoy helping people in their every day life.”
Westmoreland released a statement last week thanking Chambliss for his service.
“During his time in the House of Representatives, he served as the Chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, which oversaw the September 11th investigation. After being elected to the US Senate in 2002, Saxby continued to serve the Intelligence Community as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he currently serves as the Ranking Republican.
“While in the Senate, he also rose quickly through the ranks on the Agriculture Committee, and in the 109th Congress he served as the chairman of the full committee during the debate over the Farm Bill. Agriculture is the number one industry in the state of Georgia and I know our farmers appreciated having a Georgian fighting for them from a position of leadership.
“I wish Saxby, Julianne, and their family all the best in the future. He has been a dedicated public servant and I want to thank him for all that he has done for Georgia,” Westmoreland said.