Call it a trial balloon. It appears that former District 3 Congressman Lynn Westmoreland is seriously flirting with a run for governor (or some of his allies are trying to convince him to do so). Greg Bluestein of the AJC reported yesterday that a “plea” was sent to Georgia Republicans on Tuesday urging them to show support for a Westmoreland 2018 bid. The plea was contained a link to this website, which gave a brief outline of Westmoreland’s policy prescription for Georgia -reforming education, the tax code, and transportation.
The Westmoreland plea went out as the Republican side of the race is in a state of flux. It came just a day after House Speaker David Ralston indicated he would not join the race. Although Lieutenant Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, and state Sen. Hunter Hill have announced their runs, the powers that be are not satisfied with the current candidates. According to Bluestein, Governor Nathan Deal is still looking for an acceptable successor and Senator David Perdue wants an alternative as well.
Besides Westmoreland, there are a few other prominent Republicans mulling a run. Former District 1 Congressman Jack Kingston indicated in an interview with ZPolitics that he is considering it. State Sen. Michael Williams held a fundraiser in Cumming last night and has launched a website indicating that he is running for higher office (his candidacy is less likely to excite Deal and other big name Republicans though).
House minority leader Stacey Abrams looks all but sure to step in on the Democratic side, having already filed papers to run and securing the support of the progressive PAC Democracy for America . She was also featured in this New York Times piece about young progressive black Democrats stepping up to run in the age of Trump.
Westmoreland was interviewed by GPB’s Bill Nigut in early April, and while he didn’t rule out a run, he did not seem very enthusiastic either. Maybe the results of this trial balloon will change that.