ALBANY, Ga. -- Mike Keown of Coolidge said Monday that he went to the center of the Second Congressional District to open his campaign headquarters at 2100 N. Slappey Blvd. in Albany.
"Albany is the geographic center of the district and everything would work out from this location," said the Republican congressional candidate. "It's a good place to be.
"We have a lot of visibility here."
The Albany office will have three full-time employees who will handle day-to-day operations with the help of volunteers, Keown said during a Monday evening grand opening ceremony. While the Albany office will serve as the Coolidge resident's headquarters, Keown said he will also have satellite campaign offices in the district.
"This is where everything starts -- right here. We are very excited about it," said Keown.
Keown hopes to oust U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, from his Second Congressional District seat, but will have to first win the July 20 GOP primary election to have the opportunity to run against Bishop, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary that same day. Also seeking the Republican nomination are Lee Ferrell of Leesburg and Rick Allen of Columbus. Two other Republicans had appeared at candidate forums before the late April qualifying period, but neither was listed on the Secretary of State's website as having qualified to run.
Many of the supporters at Keown's campaign office grand opening Monday night were passionate about Keown winning the Republican primary.
Will and Ashley Miles of Leesburg said Keown was the first step in getting the nation back on track. "The county is going down the wrong turn," Will Miles said. "We are going to start at the local level to correct what is going wrong in our nation and then it (the change) will go nationwide."
"We are tired of being taxed to death," Ashley Miles added.
Lee County Commission Chairman Ed Duffy, who also attended, said, "During these difficult economic times, I know Mr. Keown is a fiscal conservative. What we need right now is a fiscal conservative."
Keown said he hopes the support for his campaign continues. The candidate has reportedly placed more than 3,000 signs across the district and has raised $246,000 in campaign contributions, 90 percent of which, he said, has been raised inside the district.