Published Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Scratch 2 names from potential candidates to succeed Chambliss

Editorial

Since Georgia’s U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced in late January he would not be a candidate for reelection in 2014, there has been a scramble by potential candidates to assess their chances in the statewide race. There, too, has been much speculation from political pundits trying to handicap the race.

The consensus is there will be a crowded field -- particularly in the Republican Party. It’s less certain how many Democrats may seek the office.

We can apparently scratch the names of two popular politicians who might have considered the race -- one Democrat and one Republican.

The Democrat is Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. In a television interview Reed said he was not interested in the race. “I’m just focused on being mayor,” he said.

The Republican who said he won’t run is Coweta County’s own U.S. House Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who said he had considered the race but decided not to pursue a statewide office at this time.

Said Westmoreland, “I would like to thank those who offered their encouragement and support over the last week as I considered a run for the United States Senate. After discussing it with family and friends, and after much deliberation and prayer, I have made the decision to not pursue a statewide office at this time. I am honored to be serving as the U.S. Congressman for Georgia’s Third District. I look forward to continuing my work in that role ... and working to advance the principles of limited government and personal responsibility.”

While both Westmoreland and Reed say they will not enter the Senate race, our crystal ball suggests both are interested in statewide office -- perhaps the office of governor.

If Gov. Nathan Deal seeks reelection in 2014, which he apparently will, neither Reed nor Westmoreland would likely challenge Deal, but don’t be surprised if both Reed and Westmoreland are candidates for governor in 2018.

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