ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., will not seek reelection in 2016, saying Washington is “a much different environment” today than when he was elected a dozen years ago.
“After a busy fall in Congress, I finally had the opportunity for quiet reflection over the Christmas break,” he said in a statement. “I spent time in prayer and with my family, and with their blessing, have decided I will no longer seek reelection for Georgia’s Third Congressional District.
“It has been an honor to serve Georgia’s Third District for the last twelve years, and I believe it is time to pass the torch to our next conservative voice. Washington, D.C. is a much different environment in 2016 than when I was elected in 2004,” Westmoreland added. “I know all too well the challenges the new representative will face, and pledge to offer my support and guidance to the next candidate.”
Westmoreland, a Georgia native, was elected to Congress in 2004. According to published reports, he may run for governor in 2018.
“Joan and I want to thank the people of Georgia’s Third District. We are forever blessed to have received your support and friendship during my time in office. I look forward to this next chapter in my life; returning to my community and spending more time with family and friends.”
Just last month, Westmoreland said he would seek a seventh term.
“I will keep fighting to protect family values, keep our homeland safe and our military prepared,” he said in a Dec. 7 statement. “Together, we can put America back on a path to prosperity and create an opportunity economy for all.”