Sanford Bishop   Leave a comment

Sanford Dixon Bishop Jr. (born February 4, 1947) is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 2nd congressional district, serving since 1993. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is located in the southwestern part of the state and includes Albany, Thomasville and most of Columbus.


Early life, education, and law career

Bishop was born in Mobile, Alabama to Minnie B. Slade and Sanford Dixon Bishop,[1] who was the first president of Bishop State Community College. He was educated at Morehouse College and Emory University School of Law, and served in the United States Army,[2] entering the Reserve Officer Training Corps[citation needed]. While at Morehouse, he was a classmate of Herman Cain. After receiving his honorable discharge, Bishop operated a law firm in Columbus, Georgia.

He has received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), given to Eagle Scouts for distinguished career achievement.[3][4] He is a member of BSA’s Order of the Arrow (OA) and as a youth was on the OA ceremonies team.[3] He is a resident of Albany, Georgia, where he is a member of the Mount Zion Baptist Church. Bishop is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity initiated at Morehouse College’s Pi chapter.[5] Bishop is a Shriner and 33° Mason.[6]

 Georgia legislature

He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1977, where he remained until being elected to the Georgia Senate in 1990.

 U.S. House of Representatives



After redistricting, he ran for Georgia’s 2nd congressional district in 1992, which was held by six-term U.S. Congressman Charles Hatcher, a white moderate Democrat. The 2nd had been reconfigured as a black-majority district during congressional apportionment following the 1990 Census. Bishop finished second behind Hatcher in a crowded six-way primary. Hatcher failed to reach the 50% threshold, and was forced into a runoff election, where Bishop attacked Hatcher for bouncing 819 checks in the House banking scandal. Bishop defeated him 53%-47%.[7] In the general election, he defeated Republican Jim Dudley 64%-36%.[8]


In the Democratic primary, he defeated James Bush 67%-33%.[9] In the general election, he won re-election to a second term with 66%.[10]


In 1995, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court ruled that this redistricting violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The newly redrawn 2nd district was 60% white. However, he won re-election to a third term with 54% of the vote.[11]


Bishop won re-election to a fourth term against Republican Joseph F. McCormick with 57% of the vote.[12]


He won re-election to a fifth term against Dylan Glenn, a young black Republican who received strong backing from many national Republican leaders, 53%-47%.[13]


He won re-election to a sixth term unopposed.[14]


He won re-election to a seventh term with 67% of the vote.[15]

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia, 2006#District 2

He won re-election to an eighth term with 68% of the vote.[16]

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia, 2008#District 2

He won re-election to a ninth term with 69% of the vote.[17]

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia, 2010#District 2

Sanford won re-election to a tenth term against Republican State Representative Mike Keown, 51%-49%,[18] the closest margin of his career.

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia, 2012#District 2

After redistricting, the 2nd district has once again become a black majority district. Bishop is unluckily to get another major challenger in the general election.[19]


He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as the Blue Dog Democrats, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats in Congress. Serving a primarily agricultural district, Bishop has fought to preserve the federal price supports for peanuts, southwest Georgia’s most important crop. In 2005, he caused considerable controversy within his own party by cosponsoring a bill by U.S. Representative Ernest Istook (R-Oklahoma) to introduce a constitutional amendment to protect religious expression on public property.

On October 10, 2002, Sanford Bishop was one of only four of 36 Congressional Black Caucus members who voted for the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War. The other three Congressional Black Caucus members who voted for the resolution authorizing the Iraq War are no longer members of Congress: Bill Jefferson (DLA), Albert Wynn (DMD), and Harold Ford, Jr. (DTN), now chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council.[20][21][22]

On September 10, 2007, Sanford Bishop endorsed Barack Obama for President and was co-chair of Georgia for Obama campaign; Bishop’s wife, Vivian Creighton Bishop, a municipal court clerk in Columbus, was co-chair of the Georgia Women for Hillary committee.[23]

In September, 2010, the Associated Press reported that Bishop had, in 2003, directed scholarships funded by the Congressional Black Caucus to ineligible persons, including his stepdaughter, Aayesha Owens Reese and his niece Emmaundia J Whitaker. Tim Turner, the congressman’s spokesman said the congressman would repay the scholarship fund for any awards he made in violation of the rules.[24]

[edit] Committee assignments

[edit] Caucus memberships


Posted February 19, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Uncategorized

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