Release from campaign; Gen. Wesley Clark and his political action committee, WesPAC-Securing America's Future, have endorsed Democrat Bill Gillespie in Georgia's First Congressional District election.
Gillespie is challenging veteran Republican Jack Kingston for the seat.
Gillespie served 23 years in the Army, working in various leadership positions while stationed in places such as Korea, Germany and the Middle East. He served in Iraq as senior logistician for the Third Infantry Division, earning a Bronze Star. Gillespie retired last year as a lieutenant. colonel and disabled veteran.
Clark said, "I am proud to endorse Lt. Col. (ret.) Bill Gillespie for Congress. America has reached a critical point, and we need strong leaders in Washington with the courage, knowledge and integrity to overcome our many challenges at home and abroad. Bill's ideas to develop alternative energy, lower taxes for families and small businesses and recruit manufacturing back to America are just what the ailing economy needs. I also support Bill because he'll fight hard to increase healthcare, education and other benefits for our brave veterans. Bill represents a hope for change in southeast Georgia — a change to government that represents the people not just special interests with lots of money."
Clark, who was a 2004 candidate for president, spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations. He commanded Operation Allied Force in the Kosovo War during his term as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe from 1997 to 2000.
Gillespie said, "I am honored by the endorsement of Gen. Wesley Clark, one of our country's finest military and political leaders. We share many goals, especially making sure our country honors the sacrifices of our troops and their families by taking good care of them when they return home. Last year the Democratic-majority in Congress passed the largest-ever funding increase in the 77-year history of the Veterans' Administration. It is still not enough. The toll of the War on Terror on our military has been large, and I will seek even more increases in funding for veterans benefits."
Gillespie, who has also proposed that all veterans get a healthcare card that allows them to seek care outside the VA system at whatever facility they prefer, says his career as an Army leader and soldier has prepared him well to be a Congressman who can defend America from terrorism and lead the United States toward winning the peace in Iraq.
His top domestic issue is creating the South Georgia Alternative Energy Alliance, making the region the center of American research and production of agri-fuel, solar, wind, methane and other alternative energies.
Gillespie's other top issues include: improving benefits for veterans, lowering taxes for families and small businesses, saving Social Security from privatization, stopping illegal immigration, reforming the healthcare and insurance industries, repealing the No Child Left Behind Act, balancing the federal budget, protecting South Georgia's natural resources and promoting "sustainable development."