Brown axes Congress bid

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 25, 2016

By Tyler H. Jones


LaGRANGE — Former State Rep. Jeff Brown of LaGrange announced today he will not seek election to Georgia’s third Congressional district.

Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, 65, of Newnan announced earlier this month he will not seek re-election after six terms in office.

Brown said in a press release the decision came after “much deliberation and input by many.”

“The estimated $400,000 needed to get sufficient name recognition by the May 24, 2016, primary, the likelihood of a primary runoff and possibly (also in) the general election,” led to his decision, Brown said.

Brown, who was had been mulling his decision over the past 10 days, said he appreciated the support for friends and community members and that he would use his upcoming column in the Daily News to further explain his decision.

Last week, state Sen. Mike Crane, a Republican from Newnan, announced he would run for the Congressional seat vacated by Westmoreland. Crane said in a press release he wants to end “vending machine politics,” and criticizes some state and federal lawmakers for basing their votes on donors’ positions.

Crane is running in order to “send reinforcements to conservatives currently fighting for small government principles in Washington,” he said in a press release.

Crane, a general contractor, owns a construction business. He was elected to the state Senate in a 2011 special election.

He’s garnered the endorsement of state Sen. Josh McKoon, a Republican from Columbus, who also represents part of Troup County and said he’s worked with Crane in the Georgia General Assembly for several years.

During his 12 years as a legislator, Brown represented precincts in Carroll, Coweta, Heard and Troup counties — all in the third district, according to a press release. During his last term, Brown served as chairman of the health appropriations subcommittee and on the ways and means, rules and health and ecology committees. He left the state legislature in 2006.

Prior to his time in the legislature he served as a LaGrange City Councilman and was the first Republican elected to council and the Georgia House of Representatives from Troup County, he stated.

Brown describes himself as a conservative Christian and said he would focus on the lack of secure borders that he said jeopardize national security, cutting expenses and tax loop holes to reduce the $19 trillion debt and fixing foreign policy.

He has worked as a business manager for Milliken and Company in LaGrange and founded the business Comprehensive Search, which he sold in late 2012. Since then he has been a real-estate investor and regularly writes an opinion column for LaGrange Daily News.

Brown is married to Shirley Scott Brown. They have a son, Greg, who is a Troup County deputy sheriff, daughter-in-law Anna Matheny Brown and a grandson, Gregory “Bo” Scott Brown. They lost their younger son Eric in an automobile accident.

He worships at First Presbyterian Church in LaGrange.

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter for LaGrange Daily news. He can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.