Sanford Bishop Draws John House As Republican Challenger

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer brings the following news:

Retired Army colonel and defense consultant John House will announce his candidacy today for the U.S. House seat held by Rep. Sanford Bishop of Georgia’s 2nd District.

House, 58, who lives in Midland, Ga., said he will seek the Republican nomination in the July 31 party primary. He said so far the only other contender he knows of is Rick Allen, who also sought the nomination in 2010.

House has been a columnist for the Ledger-Enquirer, writing about military affairs and Army life. His column has been discontinued for the campaign.

Read more on House here.



  1. Ed says:

    “House has been a columnist for the Ledger-Enquirer, writing about military affairs and Army life.”

    The liberal MSM strikes again.

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    And another smart Republican decides to throw away $1 million in a futile effort to unseat Sanford Bishop. Why do we keep contesting this guy? The demographics of that district have always been against us, and yet every two years another fantasist comes out of the woodworks thinking he’ll finally turn it this time.

    No, he doesn’t get the margins of victory that say, John Lewis receives. But Bishop’s seat is just as safe as Lewis’.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Actually, Keown didn’t do too bad against Bishop in 2010. As I recall, he was winning until absentee ballots were counted late into election night.

      • Yeah but: 1. a loss is still a loss, 2. absentee ballots count for just as much as in person voting, 3. due to the year I believe Bishop did even worse than usual and probably about as bad as you possibly could do and 4. Republicans (I believe) made the 2nd district a lot more Democratic than it used to be in an effort to shore up Austin Scott.

        • Charlie says:

          The meme that Austin’s district needed to be fortified with Republicans is silly. It was already significantly Republican. The R’s that GA-8 got from GA-2 were donated via Laurens County to GA-12, so that Congressman Barrow could have a few new Republican constituents.

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        Chris is correct on all 4 and add that this is an presidential election year, and thus even higher Dem turnout, and you get a 99.99% chance of Bishop victory. Now in the people in the 2nd really want to oust Bishop, they should find a conservative S. Dem(assuming any still exist) to primary the Sanford.

      • galawgirl says:

        No, that wasn’t it at all! Some dummies (journalist and hard pressed GOP wishful thinkers) decided to call the race BEFORE Dougherty (Albany) and Muscogee (Columbus) Counties votes were tallied! The absentee voters just added to the additional 4,000+ he went over after his two largest Democratic strongholds were in.

    • rense says:

      Huh? Actually 2010 was one of the few times that Bishop has ever received anything more than token GOP opposition. Early in his tenure, some GOP businessmen from small towns in the district ran against him, but got no real support. There was also the Dylan Glenn nonsense … thank Newt Gingrich for that non-strategy, which was more successful in getting Gwen Daye Richardson and some other black RNC members to resign in frustration than actually posing a threat to Bishop or anyone else that Gingrich recruited black GOPers to run against.

      Keown represented the only serious attempt to unseat Bishop, and had Keown ran a better campaign – i.e. actually addressing local issues instead of running on the national GOP platform, which of course ignores that the district that he allegedly was trying to represent had recession like economic conditions during the Reagan, Bush and Bush administrations and is also generally ignored by the state GOP as well – he would have pulled it off. But now, the elephants who run this state did make the decision that holding onto Bishop was worth gaining/retaining 2 GOP seats elsewhere. Still, if the GOP keeps trying, they may get lucky, as Bishop himself did in getting the seat (he benefited from a scandal involving his predecessor though it wasn’t really Charles Hatcher’s fault) and as Max Burns famously did also.

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        The GA-GOP effectively conceaded the 2nd to the Dems when they “packed” the district this last round of redistricting and made it more Democratic(and more black).

        Also, I completely agree about the failure of the Keown campaign. They tried to win the campaign solely on the hope that the rural whites were so mad at Bishop on a few national issues, that they would turn out in large numbers and the blacks would just stay home. I told them that may not work and they should be more aggressive courting black voters. I still think Mike is a good guy, but he would have been better off with better senior staff.

  3. Gwinnett is Great says:

    @ KD_fiscal conservative

    Better senior staff?

    Take a look at when Keown hired a real campaign team in June, and look at the drastic changes to the race statistics. The stats speak for themselves. He had some of the best advisors in the state of Georgia working to make that seat red. It was very well known through extensive polling that there was no way that any white candidate, whether they were a white Republican or Democrat was going to get more than 3-5% of the African American vote in the old second congressional district. Courting black voters was never an option for Mike, and I believe your synopsis of the race to be completely off base. Even the liberal NYTimes agreed.

  4. slyram says:

    I lived in the 2nd until being moved into the 8th and worked for Hatcher and Bishop. I can tell you that Keown was close to winning the Black aspect of his campaign should have involved not rallying Blacks to Bishop side. In Keown’s defense, some of that was from outside forces but it was like kicking a hornets’ nest.

    As for 2012, the GOP hasn’t cultivated a farm team of Black conservatives and that is good news to Bishop because a certain type Black candidate is the only hope they have. A candidate from Albany or Macon who wins his or her home area, and someone taps into the “do for self” Black nationalism views.

    Charlie is right: Austin has nothing to fear in November. Bishop also has little to fear in the general election. Their biggest concerns will be avoiding primary opponents. The worst case scenario for Bishop would be a nice primary opponent that puts one of the three metro areas then picks up GOP voters looking to put some action similar to the Cynthia McKinney/Denise Majette primary classic. With that in mind, Bishop became safe when the GOP primary got two serious candidates because old Ralph Reed would have said, “one GOP candidate against Bishop (so that person is doesn’t need primary votes)…everyone take the Democrat ballot and vote for Bishop’s challenger.”

    I can understand the reason the GOP wants Bishop’s seat so badly: he is the member of the CBC that President Obama needs most. If moderate Bishop and his fellow Blue Dogs were gone, the Democrat Caucus really would be lefty liberals only.

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