The race for the state Senate, District 26, featuring Irwintons Bobby Gale and long-time state Rep. David Lucas is one of the most interesting this election season. Who would have thought that Lucas -- defeated in 2011 when he dropped his House seat to run for the Senate -- would owe his victory in a rematch with Miriam Paris, to Republicans?
While many Republicans supported Paris bid for re-election monetarily and organizationally, the die was already cast. In redistricting, Republicans took key precincts from the district and distributed them to District 25, to give the area a third senator just in case Paris would lose and to District 18, represented by Cecil Staton. Turns out, Staton needed every one of the additional precincts. His margin of victory over Dr. Spencer Price was a mere 207 votes.
Now, it appears Lucas will join the General Assembly again. The majority of the population of the district is right down Lucas wheelhouse, and although Gale is a wonderful man, he is relatively unknown and woefully unprepared to do battle for the area under the Gold Dome. Some may not appreciate Lucas tactics or überpartisanship, but few can dispute his knowledge of the workings of the legislative process. Many local organizations didnt hesitate to call and visit him when he was on the House Green Door Committee that decided which local projects would be funded. Lucas knows how to play legislative hardball and its implausible to think he would have allowed himself to be redistricted into defeat with so many arrows left in his quiver as the deciding senator.
Lucas legislative acumen, even in the minority party, will hopefully, reap benefits for the district.
We endorse David Lucas.
Board members: Gigi Cabell, Amy Elton, Mary Lou Ezell, Leroy Mack, Don McGouirk, Giles ONeal, Betty Bond-Toussaint, George McCanless and Charles E. Richardson.
This matchup pits newcomer John House against 20-year veteran of Congress and the state House and Senate, Sanford Bishop. Bishop, absent from sections of Bibb County for a time due to redistricting, returns -- again, due to redistricting.
House is a retired Army colonel with a distinguished career, serving all over the world including combat tours with Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He promises not to vote to raise the debt ceiling and is a proponent of the FairTax. He lists as one of his mentors, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., from the 3rd Congressional District. House is in favor Drill baby drill which includes the controversial hydraulic fracturing technology (Fracking) to increase natural gas production.
Bishop, serves as co-chair of the Agriculture and Military Family Caucus and serves on the chicken and peanut caucuses in the House. While that may sound a bit funny, Georgia is the leading poultry and peanut producer in the country. Bishop also serves on the ever important Appropriations Committee. One of the subcommittees he serves on is the House Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies. During a recession, more than $3 billion in military construction occurred at Fort Benning in Columbus as infantry and armor combined. Bishop also takes some credit in saving the Marine Air Logistics Base in Albany during the last Base Realignment and Closure process. He states that it is his job to make sure bases in his district are positioned for expansion rather than cuts.
Bishop has been such a strong supporter of agriculture, that he was able to win in a district (two years ago) that was predominately Republican with much of the rural area in the district dependent on the health of the agricultural industry. He has spearheaded efforts to change regulations people in his district feel are onerous. He looks for a balanced approach to the budget impasse, a combination of tax increases and program cuts.
Bishop is a strong education advocate who recognizes the long term impact of having a less-than-stellar educational system in a global economy with India and China who are eating our nations lunch in the education arena. He wants Congress to start acting like adults and stop the constant bickering. He longs for a bygone era when there was more of a collegial spirit in the House instead of representatives placing politics in front of whats good for the country.
Bishop has served all three of his reconfigured districts well. His experience and knowledge of the legislative process in Washington will be much needed as the nation enters a time of budget recalibration. While there are many problems in the House of Representatives, Sanford Bishop is not one of them.
We endorse Sanford Bishop.
Board members: Charles Bass, Gigi Cabell, Amy Elton, Leroy Mack, Giles ONeal, Betty Bond-Toussaint, George McCanless, and Charles E. Richardson.