Georgia’s senior congressman faced his toughest Republican challenger in more than a decade Tuesday as voters decided whether to give Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop a 16th term amid high inflation and low approval of President Joe Biden.
Bishop’s showdown with GOP newcomer Chris West was the only competitive U.S. House race in the Deep South after congressional maps across the region were redrawn last year to give most seats a lopsided advantage for one party or the other.
Bishop has represented southwest Georgia’s 2nd District since 1992, and the seat’s demographics still give him an edge. But recent changes to the district’s boundaries diluted the influence of Black voters, giving Republicans their best shot at Bishop since his last close election in 2010.
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Bishop, a 75-year-old Black Democrat, has spent three decades cultivating a reputation as a moderate to win support among farmers and military voters in the largely rural district, which includes Albany and portions of Columbus and Macon. He argues his seniority enables him to steer more federal dollars to the district.
West, a real estate developer and National Guard officer, said it’s time for a change as he blamed Bishop, along with Biden, for high prices at gas pumps and grocery stores.
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In northwest Georgia’s 14th District, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene won reelection over Democrat Marcus Flowers. Greene’s outspoken embrace of fringe-right conspiracies prompted admirers and detractors across the U.S. to throw money at the race. Greene raised more than $11.6 million and Flowers topped $14 million.
Republicans held the advantage in two open Georgia seats.
GOP physician Rich McCormick sought to flip metro Atlanta’s 6th District, which Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath fled after it was redrawn to favor Republicans. As McBath ran in a safer neighboring district, Democrat Bob Christian battled McCormick, and the odds, for her old seat.
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Republican Mike Collins, son of the late Rep. Mac Collins, faced Democrat Tabitha Johnson-Green in northwest Georgia’s 10th District. It was vacated by GOP Rep. Jody Hice, who ran unsuccessfully for Georgia secretary of state.