Lynn Westmoreland picks Tom Graves in 9th District race

We’ve got the first big development out of Tuesday’s vote in the 9th District congressional race:

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland this afternoon endorsed former state House member Tom Graves in the contest to replace Nathan Deal. Graves took 35 percent of the vote in the special election. Former state senator Lee Hawkins of Gainesville won a place in the June 8 runoff with 23 percent of the vote.

Westmoreland’s endorsement has import. The Coweta County congressman is essentially a recruiter for the Republican National Congressional Committee, scouring the country for candidates in this U.S. House race or that. This is essentially an endorsement by the RNCC.

There’s a personal connection as well – not to mention a similar style. Said Westmoreland:

I recruited him to run for the State House in 2002 and he has a great track record of hard work in the Georgia General Assembly. Like me, Tom is passionate about job creation, cutting taxes and promoting free market and private enterprise. His unapologetic conservative philosophy will be a benefit to all Georgians in Washington and I look forward to serving with him once again.”

Here’s another thought: The 9th District congressional race can be characterized as a contest between a tea party candidate (Graves is tight with FreedomWorks, a major underwriter of the movement) and an establishment Republican (Hawkins has touted his business experience).

If one were a Republican and looking at a close contest for governor in November, one might not want to see a tea party champion defeated, and supporters demoralized, so early in the season.

Hawkins would no doubt disagree.

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30 comments Add your comment


May 13th, 2010
1:52 pm

Hopefully Tom can name more than three of the Ten Commandments when he inevitably proposes their public display….(Colbert reference, sorry Lynn)

Tom Jefferson

May 13th, 2010
1:54 pm

The Snark

May 13th, 2010
2:14 pm

Lynn Westmoreland is what my kids would call “a poser.”

Here’s your Colbert reference:

Teresa Tatum - Catoosa County Tea Party

May 13th, 2010
2:17 pm

I am the director of the Catoosa County Tea Party in Ringgold, GA. We are one in a coalition of Tea Party groups in the 9th district. We would like to make sure that our stand on the candidate endorsement issue is stated clearly in the press. At present we do not endorse candidates including Tom Graves. The Atlanta Tea Party – who did endorse him – is not part of our coalition and as you know is not located in the 9th district. We have never received money or support from any organization outside our individual groups including Freedomworks. It is incorrect for Tom Graves to be charachterized as a “Tea Party Candidate”

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

May 13th, 2010
2:33 pm

Will the real Slim Shady please stand up, please stand up!

I’m the real Slim Shady, no I’m Sparticus!

Morph did have Tea Bagger sentiments after all…..

Tom Jefferson

May 13th, 2010
2:36 pm

Teresa is right, the Atlanta Tea Party has endorsed Tom Graves. Tom has been with the Tea Party movement since day one at that event in the rain down at the Capitol.

Lee on the other hand said publicly that he has had little contact with the Tea Party movement.

This difference is why Tom has been characterized as the Tea Party candidate by the media.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

May 13th, 2010
2:42 pm

Media = Political Paparazzi.

Watch at your own peril.

Here is a good rule of thumb about how seriously you should take a media outlet:

How much did they cover Tiger Woods?

The credibility of a news channel is directly proportional to how they mentioned anything having to do with him.

Teresa Tatum - Catoosa County Tea Party

May 13th, 2010
2:51 pm

Mr Jefferson,
Tom can not be the “Tea Party” candidate by default because Hawkins does not embrace the movement. I do not know of one single TP group in the 9th district who has endorsed a candidate including Mr. Graves. The media characterized him that way because he published his endorsement by the Atlanta TP and they ran with it. I would have done the same thing if I were Tom. No blame there. We just want to make sure everyone knows that he is not the 9th District TP candidate.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

May 13th, 2010
3:06 pm

And who defines what “the movement” is?

This is like my Mother in Law’s church that has pressed her to ask my wife if her own church is truly “Bible Based”?

The Tea Party is founded off the principles of the Founding Fathers resisting Taxation without Representation.

I, for one, find ALL Tea Parties sacrilege and to be urinating on the memory of the sacrifices of our forefathers, but since we as a society seem to value the right of people to blindly attack government whilst using its services, we have to put up with their seditious and succession mentality.

But trying to define what the ‘pure’ or ‘real’ heart of a movement that is a little more than a year old and that was started based on the rantings of a Wall Street Banker is a bit like trying to argue how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.


But of course you’ll do it anyway.

And I’ll continue to mock you for it.


May 13th, 2010
3:28 pm

Does loopy Lynn believe he is the king maker?


May 13th, 2010
4:02 pm

The tea baggers are a joke, those that aren’t racist are old hippies who betrayed everything they once stood for. Tom Graves is just the latest pretty boy politician who will be up for bid to the insurance companies and oil companies like all conservative politicans

Wounded Warrior

May 13th, 2010
5:16 pm

Lynn has not done anything for Henry County. No more than a boy named Sue. He can join us in the unemployment line come November.

Naomi Long Swanson

May 13th, 2010
5:30 pm

Hello, I am the organizer of the Tea Party of Dalton, Georgia. We, currently, have 450 members with 300 in attendance at our meetings. We have been very careful to focus on promoting voter registration and precinct organization during the current election. We presented, for the public, a forum for the candidates of the 9th District Congressional Seat. We have tried to be encouraging to each candidate yet make it clear that we are present during the election process and will be during the term of the winner. The Tea Party voted, in the beginning, not to endorse a candidate to avoid division within the group. We have remained intact and strong. To date, the Daltn Tea Party has not endorsed Tom Graves as your article reflects.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

May 13th, 2010
5:38 pm

Dear Ms. Naomi,

Your response is highly reasonable, rational and courteous. If all who maintained your party standard exercised such behavior, the nation would be a better place.

Thank you.


May 13th, 2010
5:46 pm

Graves would be the perfect bagger if he wasn’t pro-choice.

gdot supporter

May 13th, 2010
5:58 pm

Teresa and Naomi

I have been a big supporter of the tea party but your negative sounding remarks will have an impact on how much, if any, money I continue to donate.


May 13th, 2010
6:42 pm

I’m an old hippie and I don’t support the Tea Party movement. Nor, do I support Tom Graves. Hopefully when the general election comes up, there will be a great viable candidate that can represent all of the 9th Dist. not just the Baggers.

(Not So) Good News

May 13th, 2010
7:54 pm

An endorsement from Georgia’s very own village idiot is hardly what I’d call “good” news. Hopefully, 9th District voters don’t vote their hometown problem into becoming a national problem.

Even better is the fact that he’s endorsed by some version of the “Tea Party” but you have to have the special Tea Party Translation Manual to know which one is grass roots and which one is astroturf manufactured in FreedomWorks headquarters.

Republicans . . . ya’ gotta love it!

Mr. KnowitAll

May 13th, 2010
8:15 pm

I am a Tea Party organizer. Our organization represents 350 members and growing–based in the 6th Cong. District. Our charter states that we are an organization targeted at Constitutional Education. We do not endorse candidates and do not let them use our organization as a platform to campaign.

Even though virtually every Tea Party organization I know has different objectives, but we all have one thing in common–The intents of our forefathers and the Constitution. At every Tea Party meeting we provide DIRECT QUOTES from founding fathers and from the Constitution. In some cases, we have interesting speakers that compare what is happening with the current Socialist/Marxist regime.

If you have a desire to keep the foundational formula that makes the USA the most free and prosperous nation on the planet–then you too side with the Tea Partiers.


May 13th, 2010
9:04 pm

why does Tom Graves not pay his bills>??Lee Hawkins litature says he is a dead beat.


May 13th, 2010
9:23 pm

Mrknowitall, you wouldnt know a socialist/marxist if it bit you on the butt. You’re all just ignorant racists or dumber than a box of rocks


May 13th, 2010
9:39 pm

Graves is just another professional politician being endorsed by all the other professional politicians who suck from the teat of big oil, insurance companies, and other lobbyists.


May 13th, 2010
9:45 pm

Where was the so called tea party when BUSH was tea bagging us?
And last but not least LYNN WESTMORELAND is a DUMB CRACKER.


May 13th, 2010
10:10 pm

Are the baggers usually drunk when they…do it?



May 13th, 2010
10:56 pm

I’m glad to hear that Teresa Tatum and Naomi Long, I know the Tea Party that I support isn’t ignorant or stupid enough to back someone that is of the establishment (Lynn Westmoreland’s handpicked STATUS QUO) candidate. Where can I sign up to join you? Also Atlanta Tea Party is so misleadingingly named considering Lynn Westmoreland resides and elected inCoweta/Fayette. He’s from the Southside of town endorsing this Teap Party nightmare. HIs handpicked flunky. I’m working to get rid of Lynn Westmoreland in his District as well. He’s voted NO on everything and haven’t provided viable solutions on jobs. Maybe we can unite!..

The Big Picture

May 14th, 2010
5:37 am

If anyone is withholding financial donations because they seriously believe that Naomi or Teresa were rude, let them. Obviously, the writer seeks offense and will create it where none is intended. Bye bye.

Stand Watie

May 14th, 2010
7:44 am

I know Mr. Westmoreland, and I voted for Graves last week. Good combination, both serve Georgia well.


May 14th, 2010
7:47 am

Westmoreland’s a little too “uppity” for me. But I’m not from around here.


May 14th, 2010
8:01 am

Is Teresa Tatum working for a campaign?

This is why she and the Tea Party crowd continue to attack Lee Hawkins. So what if he doesn’t have anything to do with them. He’s too busy working for the people he serves in Hall County.

Average Joe

May 14th, 2010
8:26 am

Frankly, an endorsement from Lynn Westmoreland is just enough to make me vote for Lee Hawkins in the runoff. “I recruited him to run for State House in 2002″. Thanks, but we have enough political cronyism in place. I’m interested in a candidate that will listen to the people, not the GOP.
They should send the bill for the special election to Nathan Deal. He left office early to avoid inquiries about his political related business activities. Mr. Deal has about as much chance being Governor as the easter bunny.