Westmoreland retains seat

By BRENDA PEDRAZA-VIDAMOUR brenda@newnan.com Lynn Westmoreland, the Georgia Republican from Grantville was re-elected to a third term in Congress, defeating his Democratic challenger Stephen Camp Tuesday. With 84 percent of precincts reporting among the 15 counties in the Third Congressional District, Westmoreland had 66 percent of the vote to Camp's 34 percent. The vote in Coweta with 28 of 30 precincts reporting was 20,821 for Westmoreland and 7,296 for Camp -- that was without the absentee/advance or provisional ballots.
Westmoreland -- celebrating his victory at the Hotel InterContinental in Atlanta with U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss -- said he was happy to win, especially since it appeared late Tuesday that the Democrats had not only secured the White House, but also the Senate and the House. "I'm just real pleased that the people of Georgia have renewed my contract," Westmoreland said. "Mr. Camp ran a good race, and he's a nice guy. We're just tickled to death, especially with the environment like it is across the rest of the country." Camp conceded about 10 p.m., as precinct results continued to favor Westmoreland 2 to 1 through the evening. "It looks like from the results that are in... that we would like to congratulate Congressman Westmoreland on his re-election," Camp said. "We're very proud of the campaign we've run. We tried to run a campaign that's focused on the economy that works again for middle class Georgia." Westmoreland acknowledged that he didn't take the win for granted, especially after recent controversy in which he described Obama -- now the 44th president -- and his wife Michelle as "uppity." Westmoreland has maintained that he wasn't aware that the word has a negative racial connotation. "We're all human, and I think people appreciate that people have a human side," he said. "I mean, you know, I said plenty of dumb things in my life. When you're in Congress, it sounds a little dumber. It's just amplified. I think really and truly people like to see you have a human side." Westmoreland thanked his family and constituents for voting him in again for another two-year term. "I'm just real blessed that I have the family I have," he said. "We worked hard, and I just appreciate the people noticing that, and giving me the opportunity to represent them again." Westmoreland, 58, has served in the U.S. House since 2005 representing the state's third congressional district which stretches from south of Atlanta to Columbus. In Congress, Westmoreland serves on the Small Business, Government Oversight and Reform, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees. Westmoreland's political career began 15 years ago when he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. He served as the state House Republican leader in 2001 until he resigned to pursue the congressional seat in Washington, D.C.

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