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Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program

The Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program is comprised of over 3,000 linear feet of archival collections, along with an extensive number of oral history interviews, that document the unique political culture of the state of Georgia.

Lynn A. Westmoreland

Lynn A. Westmoreland (1950 ) represented the 104th District in the Georgia state house 1993-2004. He then won a seat representing the 3rd District in Congress. The Republican has a reputation as a fiscal conservative, and has drawn criticism for his close ties to the auto industry, and for backing legislation to require display of the Ten Commandments in government buildings.; Interviewed by Dr. Mel Steely on September 15, 2003 at UWG-TV studio.; Westmoreland begins by telling of his childhood in Atlanta, GA, of his family, and how his father had had helped to influence his work ethic. He speaks at length of his faith, his conversion to Christianity, and of his wife and children. After his first child, he dropped out of Georgia State University, began working to support his family, and took on a number of jobs. After working in construction, Delta, and other, he began his own mediation business in 1982. Westmoreland's interest in politics was initially sparked by hearing Newt Gingrich speak, becoming involved with his children's school board meetings and was encouraged by Randy Evans to run for the Senate in 1988. He lost the initial race, and again in 1990, but finally won a seat in 1992. He speaks about those first three races and discusses his campaigns. He describes his first term in politics and the gravitas of his new responsibility. By 2000, Westmoreland was elected Leader and he describes his tactics to help bringing together a majority mentality in the Republican Caucus. He speaks at length about the political leaders he served alongside, including Tom Murphy, Zell Miller and Roy Barnes. The discussion goes into the 2002 election in which Governor Barnes was defeated, the shift in party power in Georgia and the subsequent Republican caucus. Westmoreland reveals the issues that he ultimately had with Governor Perdue.The discussion ends with Westmoreland commenting on how and why he decided to leave his position of power in the House and why he decided to run for Congress.