Jim Pace endorses Drew Ferguson over Mike Crane in 3rd District runoff

The battle lines in the 3rd District Republican runoff are now complete. 

Jim Pace, the Peachtree City businessman who finished a close third in the May 24 primary, has endorsed former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson for the July runoff against state Sen. Mike Crane.

The move means that all five candidates who failed to make the final contest are now backing Ferguson.

“Drew Ferguson is the real conservative I want to see representing Georgia’s Third District in Washington,” Pace said in a statement.  “He is a jobs conservative who has a track record of keeping taxes and regulations low and jobs creation enthusiasm high.  Caring about our communities and finding ways to help people succeed and live their American Dream without government breathing down their necks, telling them what to do, is the conservative way.”

Crane, in a statement you can read at the bottom of this post, said the "establishment is circling the wagons."

Ferguson's campaign likes math, apparently, and points out that supporters of his and the five vanquished foes who have now endorsed him make up 73 percent of the votes cast in the primary. Ferguson alone got 27 percent. He finished about 100 votes behind Crane.

It's no surprise to careful observers that Pace and the others have lined up behind Ferguson. Crane has never shied away from the solo route. We've asked Crane's team for a comment on Pace's decision. Until that comes, here's what Crane said when the other five endorsed Ferguson on June 1

"We believe the distinctions in this race have always been clear, now it is even more vivid for the voters to see.  It is and will continue to be us against the big government and big business insiders which stand contrary to virtually every principle of freedom and limited constitutional government that we cherish.  They pretended to be something else, now they show their true colors.  The establishment is afraid of Liberty because they can't control it.  For freedom minded Georgians, the choice has never been so clear."

Update 2:38 p.m.: Crane has indeed responded. Here's what he said:

"It's no surprise that the establishment is circling the wagons to protect crony capitalism in Washington. The more political insiders and business elites scramble to stop our campaign, the more the voters see the true choice in this election.  When I'm elected to Congress, we'll stop the crony capitalism and put an end to the political and business elites' scheme to mortgage the future of our country to line their pockets."