Georgia GOP Will Open a Regional Headquarters in Albany

Southwest Georgia will have a stronger Republican presence next month, when the Georgia Republican Party opens a full-time office in Albany. The office will be located at 2516 Dawson Road.

From the press release:

The Regional Headquarters will serve as hubs for Republican clubs, organizations, and individuals who are interested in growing the Party, electing like-minded candidates, and promoting conservative values in Georgia,” said Southwest Regional Director Karen Kemp. “The GAGOP is serious about investing in Southwest Georgia and the opening of this headquarters is the first step towards building a southern stronghold that can withstand the test of time.

Working out of the new office, regional directors will target voter registration, grassroots initiatives and community based projects. The ribbon cutting will be November 6th at noon, and is expected to include Agriculture Secretary Gary Black and Georgia GOP Chair John Padgett.

Albany is in the heart of Georgia’s second congressional district, which also includes portions of Columbus and Macon. Sanford Bishop, who won against GOP challenger John House with 63% of the vote, represents the area.

14 comments

  1. northside101 says:

    No, the new GOP office in Albany is not about Bishop’s district—that is out of reach probably forever as it was made majority-black in 2011 redistricting and Obama got 59 percent there last November. Dougherty (Albany) and Muscogee Counties (Columbus) anchor the district, and both are solidly Democratic and becoming more heavily black—neither county has backed a Republican for president in 25 years (Bush the first in 1988). Small part of Muscogee is in Lynn Westmoreland’s 3rd CD, but even with that part, Muscogee is usually a reliably Democratic county. Nor is it about the Legislature—GOP already has all the seats it can win in southwest Georgia, whether the House or Senate. No Republican candidate is going to win, say, the Albany-based 12th Senate District of Democrat Freddie Sims. The only legislative seats it doesn’t have in that part of Georgia are all majority-black. What is really is about is winning the local races where Democrats still often win—offices like sheriff, county commission and school board—where the GOP still has room to grow.

    Keown’s 49 percent showing against Bishop in 2010 was a freak circumstance anyway—Obama had won the old 2nd CD two years earlier by nearly 10 points (district was 47 percent black in voter registration in 2010.) Perhaps redistricting could have put Keown, had he won, in a better position in 2012, but even then, Republican candidate would be hard-pressed over long-term to hold a district over 40 percent black in voter registration.

    • PoliticalJoe says:

      Call me crazy, but what if a moderate conservative campaigned in the 2nd district with capitalizing off the state’s jobs-oriented Republican mantra, weighing in on Muscogee and Dougherty county’s (and really the rest of the district’s) 10+% unemployment to possibly grapple some votes over the race divide?

  2. northside101 says:

    Political Joe:
    Other candidates running against Bishop have tried that (run on jobs/poor economic conditions). No dice, even though the 2nd CD traditionally has been the state’s poorest congressional district. According to data from the Census Bureau, the median household income of CD 2 (in inflation-adjusted dollars) in 2012 was only about $33,000, and only 1 of every 6 adults (over age 25) had a bachelor’s degree or higher in education. Contrast that to Tom Price’s CD 6 on the northside of Atlanta (east Cobb, north Fulton and north DeKalb), the wealthiest congressional district between Texas and the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, with median household income of about $76,000 and about 3 of every 5 adults holding at least a bachelor’s degree. But CD 2 gets a lot of government funds—agriculture and Fort Benning being the most notable examples—which Bishop is in a position to deliver with his near 21 years in DC.

    The redistricted 2nd District voted Democratic in every statewide partisan contest in 2010—no exceptions. Not even Johnny Isakson, who got a landslide 58 percent statewide that year, could win the district (he got 45 percent there). Bishop is rock-solid in the district’s traditional urban centers, Albany and Columbus, and ditto for newly-gained (in redistricting) Macon (Bibb County).
    In Dougherty County, for instance, Bishop got 74 percent in 2004, 77 percent in 2006 and 2008, 65 percent in 2010 (against his most serious opponent in years, Mike Keown) and 73 percent in 2012.

    Also worth noting: according to National Journal magazine, 96 percent of Democratic U.S. House members represent districts carried by Obama while 94 percent of GOP lawmakers represent districts won by Romney. In Georgia, John Barrow is the only Democratic congressman whose district backed Romney last fall (55 percent). Romney of course won all 9 GOP-held congressional districts in this state. Overall, nationwide, not many congressional seats really at stake next year.

    Thus, back to yesterday’s point, the Albany office—and certainly we’ll see other GOP offices across the state—is more about the local offices. You might compare it to the “farm team” in baseball. Winning local offices such as sheriff and county commission provides future candidates for General Assembly, Congress, etc. For instance, roughly half of all congressmen nationwide previously served in a State Legislature. Nine (9) of the 14 congressmen from Georgia previously served at the Gold Dome, among those 2 of the 3 GOP Senate candidates—Jack Kingston (who served in the State House before his 1992 election to Congress) and Phil Gingrey (who served 4 years in the State Senate before going to DC).

    • PoliticalJoe says:

      Excellent break down and I totally agree with the ‘farm team’ analogy. I wasn’t sure what platforms previous candidates had ran on.

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