The third Georgia Republican congressman to enter the 2014 race for U.S. Senate took a swing through Columbia County Friday afternoon.
Flanked by family and in front of a group of well-wishers and media, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston stopped by the Steak ‘n’ Shake the day after announcing his intention to seek the Senate seat of Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring.
“I’ve had the honor of serving in the House for many years and certainly have enjoyed it. It’s a great privilege and flattering to walk down the halls and be called ‘Mr. Chairman,’” said Kingston, an 11-term representative who serves as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
“But the reality is the battleground right now is in the Senate,” he said. “While it would be easier to remain in the house, I feel that if we’re going to turn America around, we have to turn the U.S. Senate around. ... Countless reform measures and entitlement reforms that we’ve passed in the House have been killed by this Senate, so indeed I feel like that’s the front line in the battleground for America right now.”
Kingston, a Savannah resident who represents District 1, joins 10th District U.S. Rep. Paul Broun and 11th District U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey in the race. Kingston said he’s not troubled that their departure from the House means that at least those three seats on the Georgia delegation will be occupied by freshman when he and his fellow veteran congressmen are replaced.
“We will work closely with the new congressional delegation,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of talent out there, so whoever is elected, we’ll work with them.”
Kingston chose the venue for his visit because the fast-food franchise is owned by Preston Moss, who was a classmate at the University of Georgia.