“In previous years, when I’ve finished in the top 10 most conservative, I’ve assumed there must be some ‘hanging chad’ problem that messed up the vote tallies,” Westmoreland said in a press release.
“I think this year’s ranking is most accurate. I represent one of the most conservative districts in one of the most conservative states in the country. I’ve always promised my constituents that I won’t forget where I come from. Georgians in the 3rd District want a congressman who’ll fight for their conservative principles of smaller government, less spending, a strong defense, low taxes and family values. This year’s ranking shows I’ve kept my promises and that I’m on the front lines of the fight for conservatism.”
Spalding County is part of the 3rd District.
Two other Georgians - Phil Gingrey of the 11th District and John Linder of the 7th District - also tied for first place. The Republicans in the Georgia delegation work together and take strong conservative positions, Westmoreland said.
“We are a tight-knit group,” he said. “We meet every single week that we’re in session to talk and coordinate on issues important to Georgia, but we also discuss votes. It serves as a form of accountability to each other.”
He said Republican members of the Georgia delegation votes conservatively even when it is not popular, such as when delegation members opposed President Bush’s recent stimulus package.
“I tell you one thing, I’m proud for Lynn, as you always know where you stand with Lynn Westmoreland,” said Jim Hill, first vice chairman of the Spalding County Republican Party.
He said many politicians tell voters one thing to get elected but do something else once in office, but that is not the case with Westmoreland. He praised Westmoreland’s fiscal conservatism and his commitment to a strong defense and family values.
“I’ve known Lynn since 1984 when he was in the building business and other than a few more gray hairs, Lynn Westmoreland hasn’t changed much,” Hill said.
“You know where you stand with Lynn and that is so important with government. I am very proud that he is our congressman.”
Lee Howell, a former state representative, former chairman of the Spalding County Democratic Party and a current member of the state committee of the Democratic Party, covered Westmoreland as a reporter when Westmoreland was a state representative.
“I’m not surprised; Lynn is a very conservative individual,” he said.
“He represents a very conservative district, so he votes the will of his constituency.”
Howell went on to praise Westmoreland’s character.
“I’ve always thought him to be a very intelligent, articulate, sincere conservative person,” Howell said. “I respect him. We don’t always agree, obviously, but I respect him greatly and I’m glad he got this award.”