LEESBURG -- Five candidates in the July GOP primary stated Saturday that they are for conservative values and want to defeat U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, when the election is held in November.
The candidates, Rudy Adams, 71, of Macon County,; Rick Allen, 59, of Muscogee County; Bobby Brown, 58, of Thomas County; Lee Ferrell, 58, of Lee County; and state Rep. Mike Keown, 55, of Thomas County, attended the 8:30 a.m. Lee County Republican Club meeting at Meatslangers Bar-B-Que in Leesburg.
"This is the first time all five candidates have come together," said Jimmie Brown, chairman of the Lee County Republican club. "We decided to give the five candidates an opportunity to tell the people where they stand."
There didn't seem to be very much difference in where the candidates stood on issues. They all said they were conservatives to the about 60 people including visitors, club members and their children at the forum.
The candidates' statements established them as supporting the Constitution, repealing the health care legislation just enacted, reducing taxes, maintaining a strong military, encouraging private industry, banning abortion, prosecuting illegal immigration and other conservative values such as gun ownership rights.
Adams said the first thing he would do if elected is impeach President Obama.
"The Constitution says that no one, no one shall be president except a natural born citizen," Adams said. "And since Obama has refused to supply proof, he is unlawfully occupying the presidential seat. That's a downright breach of our U.S. Constitution."
The choice between the candidates might come down to who is best prepared to take on the avowed purpose of the campaign: unseat Bishop in November, said Don Cole, 2nd Congressional District GOP chairman.
"There is no question that everybody in this room is against Sanford Bishop. We have a decision to make in July and that is which one of these fellas are we going to put up against him?" said Cole, "What kind of organization do you have in place and how much money have you raised?"
Keown said he has two paid staff, anticipates a full-time campaign manager soon, is opening an office in Albany in the next few days, raised about $250,000 from all over the district and has a grass roots organization.
"We are doing all the things that have to be done. You need to get the money to be on TV, send out the direct mail and do all the things that got to be done to win," Keown said. "My donations, a ton of $100 and $25 checks, have been 98 percent from the district."
The other candidates didn't seem to have the money or strong organization in place. Allen entered the race last week, so he was just starting to organize, he said.
"We are starting a little late, but we have great ideas and passion," said Allen, who operates a medical supply business. "I bring a lot of experience from the small business world. You got to know a little about everything. I think I bring that kind of wisdom to the position."
Brown said he didn't think it would take as much money as everyone thinks to win in November.
"I know it is going to take some and that is part of the problem we have now, it is all about money," Brown said. "A lot of politicians feel that people give them money and they are obligated. I don't want to be obligated to no one."
Adams has raised about $2,400 he said, and feels no obligation to the donors because of their contributions.
"I have an obligation to the people of the United States of America and Georgia," Adams said. "That's it."
Ferrell reorganized his campaign with a new campaign manager in whom he has much faith.
"I have more faith in that young man than I do in many older folks. I have raised $642, Ferrell said. "I'm not scared, I will fight."