ATLANTA (WRBL) — The focus on the Georgia Second Congressional District race shifted from the Southwest corner of the state to Atlanta on Monday.
Republican challenger Chris West is trying to unseat longtime Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop.
And West got some help from a high-powered Washington D.C. insider.
Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy of California appeared at a fund-raiser for West at the offices of a Buckhead investment firm.
McCarthy hopes to be the Speaker of the House if the Republicans gain control. One of the ways to do that is to have candidates like Chris West take away what has been a long-held Democratic seat.
Most of Georgia’s Republican Congressional delegation including Rep. Drew Ferguson and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene were at the lunch.
The southwest Georgia Second District includes much of Columbus, a chunk of Macon and all of Albany.
Bishop has held the seat for 30 years – the longest-serving member of the Georgia Congressional delegation.
The District was redrawn and while it still leans Democratic, it’s not a lock for Democrats anymore.
McCarthy is confident Republicans will take over the House. And he said that will diminish Bishop’s effectiveness.
“Say, Sanford Bishop was to win, he would be in the minority,” McCarthy said. “He has ethics complaints moving forward and would be under a shadow and you don’t know if he can continue to serve. So what could he produce for you? He’s been there more than three decades. What’s he done for you?”
Here is part of Bishop’s response:
“This is another example of national Republicans putting power and party politics over the needs of the people of Middle & Southwest Georgia. McCarthy knows that Chris West has no experience in the legislative process and cannot deliver results for the people of Georgia, but he wants power and a vote to be speaker.”
According to an AJC.com report, Bishop also has a clear money advantage.
His campaign account had $1 million left to spend compared to West’s $424,059 at the end of September.
West’s campaign raised $341,397 from July 1 through Sept. 30, roughly half of Bishop’s $761,279 haul. Bishop ads have been on the air for weeks attacking West as an extremist.
The entire interview with McCarthy and West will air on News 3 Sunday Morning beginning at 8.
WRBL will broadcast a Congressional Debate for this district between Bishop and West.
The two candidates will participate in a televised debate on October 26, right here on WRBL in partnership with Columbus State University.
The questions will come from a panel of WRBL journalists, along with a CSU representative.
WRBL anchors Phil Scoggins and Teresa Whitaker will be the moderators.