Feb. 14, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Bishop’s Bacon Might Not Save Him in GOP Wave

John McArdle/Roll Call
Sanford Bishop, who is locked in his first serious re-election race in years, talks to state Rep. Ed Rynders (right) on Saturday.

“A campaign is a time where you give account for your stewardship,” Bishop said. Voters “will look to see who has a record of delivering for them.”

Bishop’s ability to bring tax dollars back to the 2nd district is something that’s hard to argue.

Albany City Commissioner Roger Marietta, who was also at the Albany flag raising, described Bishop as “a $100 million-a-year industry” for southwest Georgia.

“The average person believes that we benefit from having an entrenched Congressman who has a seat on the Appropriations Committee,” Marietta said.

And while Keown has worked to tie Bishop to his more controversial party leaders, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the Congressman has returned the favor by hitting Keown for accepting money and campaign support from national GOP leaders such as House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), who is holding a fundraiser for Keown this week.

“For him to embrace Boehner, who also wants to privatize Social Security, just underscores the fact that they want to take away from my seniors and those who are disabled and the children who depend on that social safety net that Social Security provides,” Bishop said.

In the final days of the campaign, one issue that continues to haunt Bishop is a controversy involving the awarding of several scholarships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which he is a part of, to his family members.

The story made national headlines and has helped Keown gain attention and fundraising help at a crucial time.

Bishop has tried to put the issue behind him. He has said he was not involved in awarding the scholarship money, and he repaid the money that went to his family members.

When asked about it again last week, Bishop said his campaign had already responded to the story and that there was nothing else to say.

“I think he’d be a lot further ahead if [the scholarship story] wasn’t an issue,” said Claven Williams, who attended Saturday’s festival in Sylvester. “Is he a saint? No. ... Sanford Bishop is a politician. But you have to look at the lesser of two evils. I know Sanford. He’s been around a while, he’s delivered. And if you can do that, a lot of things can be forgiven.”

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