U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, who represents Georgia’s 3rd District, has announced his retirement. Rep. Westmoreland’s stepping down was not entirely unexpected due to his close alignment with ousted House Speaker John Boehner whose conservative credentials were widely questioned by fellow Republicans.Westmoreland, who represents Lamar and Pike counties in Washington, has said he may run for governor of Georgia in 2018. The question is, who will run for his seat?The official announcement from the Congressman’s office follows: U. S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03) has announced he will no longer seek reelection in 2016. His statement is below: ’After a busy fall in Congress, I finally had the opportunity for quiet reflection over the Christmas break. 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. I know all too well the challenges the new representative will face, and pledge to offer my support and guidance to the next candidate. ’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.’ BIOGRAPHY Lynn Westmoreland was born and raised in Georgia, living more than 25 years in Fayette County before moving to his current residence in Coweta County. A true American entrepreneur, Lynn began his own building company, L.A.W. Builders. While running his business, Lynn was elected to the Georgia State House, where he served proudly for 12 years. In the state House, Lynn developed a reputation for fighting for lower taxes and smaller government. He was eventually elected to serve as the Republican Leader, a position he held for three years. His hard work and dedication is credited as one of the major reasons the Republican Party was able to win the majority in the Georgia State House for the first time. In 2004, Lynn was elected to the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District. After a long redistricting battle, the Eighth District was converted into the Third District, which stretches from the southern suburbs of metro Atlanta into Middle Georgia and down to Columbus. In 2014, Lynn was re-elected to his sixth term in Congress. Lynn and his wife Joan have been married for 46 years. They have three children and seven grandchildren. In the 114th Congress, Lynn serves on the House Financial Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Select Committee on Benghazi, and the Steering Committee. Congressman Westmoreland serves as Vice Chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee for the House Financial Services Committee. He also serves on the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, and the Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittees where he is a voice for community banks and staunch defender of small business. The House Financial Services Committee has jurisdiction over the housing and financial services sectors, including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities. Georgia has been hit especially hard by the current economic downturn and Westmoreland believes it is important that our great state is represented by a conservative, free-market voice on the committee. On the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Congressman Westmoreland serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the NSA and Cybersecurity. The House Intel Committee is charged with oversight of the United States Intelligence Community, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. Westmoreland understands that ensuring our nation’s security at home and around the world requires a strong intelligence community and works with his fellow committee members to make sure they have the resources they need to carry out their important mission. In 2014, Congressman Westmoreland was selected by Speaker Boehner to serve on the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Congressman Westmoreland’s involvement in an informal working group and his work on the Intel Committee proved he was one of the most knowledgeable on the attacks and he is honored to work alongside Chairman Trey Gowdy to uncover the truth. As part of the Steering Committee, Congressman Westmoreland is tasked with selecting members and leadership for each of the House committees at the start of each Congress or when seats on the committees become available. In the 113th Congress, Congressman Lynn Westmoreland served as the Deputy Chairman at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), helping Chairman Greg Walden and the NRCC to gain the largest Republican majority in the House since 1928. Westmoreland has served in a leadership role at the NRCC for the 111th and 112th Congress, leading the redistricting effort as the Vice Chairman for Redistricting and assisting Congressman Kevin McCarthy with candidate recruitment.