Lynn Westmoreland: Not running for governor in 2018

After months of rumors and speculation, it appears that Lynn Westmoreland, the candid former Congressman from West Georgia, will not run for the governor's office in 2018. 

The announcement was first reported by the AJC on Wednesday after he told the paper that he believed he could best contribute to the lives of Georgians "outside of elected office.” 

Westmoreland's revelation comes after a website surfaced urging Georgians to "draft" the former Representative to run for the office. It seemed like it could have either been a precursor to a campaign, or a long-shot effort to court him into mounting a bid. Neither would have been a surprise. 

Upon announcing his retirement, Westmoreland openly said that he was considering a run for higher office in the upcoming election. However, over time, he began to indicate that he was warming to life outside of public service. 

“I get up in the morning, we have chickens and I’m fixing to get some goats,” he said at an event in March. “We’ve got cows and so I’m just enjoying cutting some trees and doing different things. I’m doing some political consulting work too. So right now I’ve got the best of both worlds. I don’t have an 8 to 5 or a 7 to midnight schedule. It has been very enjoyable and I’ve spent more time with my wife and my family that has been very good.”

Now, he says that he plans to fully support the GOP nominee for the position. 

On the GOP side, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, and State Senator Hunter Hill have all announced gubernatorial campaigns.