Congressmen endorse candidates

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 27, 2016

LaGRANGE — The two candidates for the state’s 3rd Congressional District for the U.S. House each received endorsements from congressmen recently.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland today endorsed former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson to replace him as U.S. representative of Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District. On Friday, former GOP presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas offered his support to former state Sen. Mike Crane for the seat.

In his endorsement, Westmoreland touted Ferguson’s experience.

“Drew is a strong, conservative voice for hard-working Georgians and his experience proves that he knows what it takes to get things done,” Westmoreland said in a statement. “His many years as small business owner reflect his entrepreneurial spirit, and understanding that we need less government interference in our lives and businesses — not more.”

In a statement, Westmoreland said Ferguson’s track record of job creation was a factor in his endorsement. He touted Ferguson’s experience helping to bring Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia to West Point, along with the second-party jobs it created.

“The restaurants, hardware stores, convenience stores and many other small businesses all welcome the plant and are now thriving because of it,” Westmoreland said. “If you were to drive through West Point eight years ago and then drive through the town now, you wouldn’t recognize it.”

Cruz pointed to Crane’s conservative stance in his endorsement of the candidate.

“I’m proud to join thousands of Georgia conservatives in standing up for conservative principles supporting Mike Crane for Congress,” Cruz said in a statement released by Crane’s campaign. “I can think of no better way to send the Washington establishment a message than by supporting Mike Crane for Congress.”

Crane has also been endorsed by the Tea Party Express, the nation’s largest Tea Party political action committee, as well as conservative commentator Erick Erickson and the House Freedom Fund.

His opponent, Ferguson, last week received the endorsement of state Rep. Randy Nix of LaGrange, who promoted Ferguson’s support for law enforcement officers.

“Drew understands local law enforcement and fully stands behind those brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day,” Nix said in a statement. “I trust Drew to make those difficult decisions necessary to address the pressing issues facing our country today.”

Ferguson also has received endorsements from the sheriffs of Harris, Heard, Henry, Coweta, Muscogee, Troup and Upson counties. He also was endorsed by five former primary election opponents: Jim Pace, Chip Flanegan, Richard Mix, Sam Anders and Rod Thomas.

The two GOP rivals are set for a July 26 runoff. The winner will face Democrat Angela Pendley in the Nov. 8 general election, although the district is considered solidly Republican.

Ferguson and Crane both garnered 26 percent of the May 24 primary election.

Crane and Ferguson will square off in a televised debate set to air July 24 at 6:30 p.m. on Georgia Public Broadcasting. The debates will also be available for viewers to watch online after they air.

Early voting in the July 26 runoff election begins July 5 and ends July 22. Early voting is held Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Troup County Government Center, 100 Ridley Ave. Call the Troup County elections office at 706-883-1745 for more information.


By Tyler H. Jones

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.