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Former House majority leader visits Albany

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- If the Republican Party doesn't stand up for less taxes, less government and more economic freedom for America -- it could find itself losing support of Tea Party organizations, said FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey.

"As grassroots activists, the Tea Party Movement is fighting not only the Democrats but Republicans," said Armey, former Republican House majority leader. "They must come to believe that we have every right to point and expect of them to uphold our conservative values. Big government is choking the private sector. It is time for Republicans to gain courage or just give up."

Armey was on hand to greet more than 50 people and to sign his latest book, "Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto," at a home on the 4600 block of Dawson Road.

Armey confirmed that he would endorse Mike Keown, R-Albany, candidate for the Second Congressional District in his run against incumbent Sanford Bishop, D-Albany.

The official endorsement would come at an 8 a.m.-10 a.m. book signing today at Merry Acres, 1500 Dawson Road.

"His endorsement puts a strong conservative organization behind Keown," said Mike Sabot, a Tea Party Movement supporter. "Conservatives aren't just under the wire anymore. We are a strong force."

With an audience filled mostly with Tea Party members, at least one person chose to reserve his support for Keown until he does further research.

"Armey endorsing Keown would not be a deciding factor in how I vote," said Jeremy Lynch, an Albany attorney. "When I decide who to vote for, it will be who will do the best job for Southwest Georgia."