Sanford Bishop to face Cordele pastor in November election

Updated: Jul. 2, 2020 at 12:34 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - In November, Sanford Bishop will be the Democratic candidate for the Second Congressional Seat for the 15th time.

Bishop has represented Southwest Georgia in Congress for 28 years.

However, in this coming election, he will be opposed by pastor and political expert Don Cole, of Cordele.

The two are nearly polar opposites in every political way except for the fact that they both want to serve in Congress to improve the quality of life here.

Congressman Sanford Bishop said November is his time to get an accounting for his stewardship from the voters.

“That’s what elections are all about. Every two years I have to ask the voters to extend my contract,” said Bishop.

This time, the Republican nominee is Cole, a skilled campaign veteran who helped Sonny Perdue and David Perdue win long shot elections.

“We don’t have a Congressman. I tell people I am running to fill a vacancy. He doesn’t represent the values of Southwest Georgia,” said Cole.

A Pastor by trade, Cole said he feels the nation is headed in the wrong direction. He said he supports Southwest Georgia values.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and all of these I stand for. Life, for right to life. Liberty, the First Amendment freedoms that we have of religion, press, the right to gather publicly, the right to petition our government, and of course the Second Amendment, the right to own and bear firearms,” said Cole.

Meanwhile, Bishop is the longtime and very influential Congressional stalwart who holds powerful appointments such as the chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee of Appropriations, vice chair of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and he serves on the Financial Services Subcommittee of Appropriations.

“So I think I’m positioned in a pretty good place to be able to look after the state of Georgia, to look after the farmers and ranchers and the people in rural America, as well as be able to protect our bases,” said Bishop.

Cole said Bishop campaigns as a conservative but votes a different way in Washington.

“Every vote, especially in the last two years, he’s rarely gone along with the President on anything. He follows whatever Nancy Pelosi tells him to do,” said Cole.

But despite their differences, both see expanding broadband and internet access in Southwest Georgia as top priorities to their platform.

Both also cite their religious beliefs as major reasons they want to be the next Second District Representative.

“I just got to be a voice for righteousness, for justice,” said Cole.

“For me, it’s a ministry of public service. So that’s how I look at it, it’s an opportunity to serve,” said Bishop.

Congressman Bishop is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee, questioning his campaign fund spending.

Thursday night, WALB’s Jim Wallace will dive deeper into that investigation and the Second Congressional District election. See what Jim has learned on WALB News 10 at 11.

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