Rep. John Lewis (D-5) announced Tuesday that he will seek re-election next year. The congressman made the announcement while speaking at the Atlanta Press Club.
“I should make it plain and very clear here and there and all around this district, I plan to seek re-election to Congress,” he said to applause.“The people of this district have been very, very good to me, and I have tried to be good to them. I plan to continue to serve."
He added, “I’m not prepared to give up or give in. I’m prepared to work.”
Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986, Lewis will be seeking his 14th consecutive term.
While still a student in Nashville, Lewis organized sit-ins, and later became the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1964 he co-led a peaceful march between two cities in Alabama -- Selma and Montgomery -- to demonstrate the need for voting rights in the state. Alabama state troopers however, attacked the marchers in a confrontation later known as "Bloody Sunday."
In February, Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his heroism and commitment to the Civil Rights movement.
Representative Lewis says that he still enjoys representing Georgia’s fifth congressional district. And, speaking to journalists and others at the press club, he says there are issues that need everyone's attention.
He said he's concerned that fiscal conservatives are using the federal deficit as an "excuse" to reduce funding to programs that benefit lower-income residents.
“Some people are determined to cut off the poor, the hungry, the disabled and the elderly," he said. "They are using the deficit as an excuse to tell the most vulbnerable Americans that there’s no room in the inn. But as they turn the needy away, they welcome the most prosperous among us who will receive a discount on their stay.”
Lewis said he's concerned that Pres. Barack Obama, as he approaches the budget, is agreeing to cuts to social programs that are too small to withstand any reductions in funding.
Contributors: William High