Bishop, Hughes maintain quiet, cordial Congressional race - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

If only they could all be like this----

Bishop, Hughes maintain quiet, cordial Congressional race

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November 1, 2006

Albany-- With just days until the election, candidates are working hard to get their message out.

Many of the recent countless stream of commercials focused on the 8th District Congressional race between Democrat Jim Marshall and Republican Mac Collins. President Bush even campaigned for Collins Monday but there are 12 other Congressional races in the state including the Second Congressional District race. It's a race that, so far, has been fairly low key.

There's no doubt that you've seen the ads.  Television screens have been filled with political ads from Jim Marshall and Mac Collins, both running for District 8. Thousands turned out in Perry this week as President George Bush rallied support for Republican Mac Collins.

But here's a striking contrast to that race.  It's one with much less fanfare.  District 2 incumbent, Congressman Sanford Bishop meets and greets a few constituents in Sylvester on Tuesday, a quiet race that still has him going city to city.

"It's been a whirlwind of a day but it's given us an opportunity to see a lot of people," said Bishop. He's hearing concerns ranging from the war to healthcare.  But as he campaigns, political numbers show he hasn't spent much money on actual campaigning. He's raised more than $760,000 of which about $547,000 was spent, the majority on other Democratic candidates and organizations he supports. 

Bishop does maintain he's spent a significant sum of money on re-election with staff, travels and mailings.

"The first of our mailings hit in the last couple of days and that's to the sum of almost $100,000," said Bishop. Still, from a recognition and financial standpoint, Bishop has an edge on his opponent that may not require tons of television ads and thousands spent on campaigning.

"Regardless of how strong or weak an opponent might be, we have to treat that opponent as if he's an elephant, not a flea," said Bishop.

Republican Bradley Hughes says his chances of winning are much greater than people realize. "I think that people are going to be very surprised. I think that people are ready for a change," said Hughes.

The Early County minister raised about $22,000 for his campaign, 34-times less than Bishop.  He touts economic development as a big reason for deciding to run for Congress.  That and values.

"I didn't believe that Sanford Bishop represented our values to the extent that they are as conservative as they are in this area," said Hughes. Congressman Bishop has 14 years over the political newcomer but that won't stop him from meeting people and hearing their concerns.

"The underdog is often times able to be triumphant over the one that's a little more powerful," said Hughes. Bishop says he's proud of the powerful changes that have taken place since in Congress and says he still has more work to do on Capitol Hill.

"I'm proud of the people who have allowed me to serve them and I look forward to serving them in the years to come," said Bishop.

So in this fairly quiet race for Congress minus the ads and rallies, voters will make it loud and clear who they choose to take that seat.  

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