Atlanta - Democrat Ken Hodges, candidate for Attorney General, picked up the endorsement today of well-known Republican Howard "Bo" Callaway. A respected national Republican figure, Callaway was the first modern day Republican candidate for Governor of the state of Georgia on the ballot and is regarded by some as the "father" of the modern Georgia Republican Party.
Callaway, who is also related to Hodges, told reporters Thursday that his endorsement was founded on Hodges principles and not his family ties. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also noted that Edward, Callaway's son and CEO of Callaway Gardens resort, is Hodges campaign treasurer.
In 1964, Callaway was the first Georgia Republican elected to Congress from Georgia since Reconstruction in 1875. In 1966, he ran for Governor of Georgia and was a strong contender in the race, winning the popular vote. Due to a Democratic write-in effort following the primaries, Callaway failed to receive the constitutional required majority to win. Under state law at the time, the Georgia House of Representatives chose the Governor, and being majority Democratic, they voted for the Democratic nominee, Lester Maddox.
"Modern Georgia has been fortunate to have Attorney Generals of both parties who have put service to the public ahead of partisanship. I know Ken Hodges, I watched his career as a District Attorney in Southwest Georgia, and I know he has the integrity, character and experience necessary to serve in that critical office," Callaway said. "Ken is a prosecutor, not a politician, and he showed as District Attorney that he will fight crime and government corruption, regardless of who the perpetrator is and their partisan affiliation."
In addition to his work in Georgia, Callaway served as Secretary of the Army under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He also headed President Ford's 1976 campaign committee. Callaway moved to Colorado in the 1970s, where he ran for the United States Senate and served as Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.
Callaway has also served as a member of the Republican National Committee. In 1993, Callaway returned to Georgia, and Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, which his family owns and son now manages.
"It is an honor to have the support of Bo Callaway." Hodges said. "He is highly regarded in both parties and has a distinguished career of public service. I am proud to be standing with him here today."
Hodges is running against Republican Sam Olens in Nov. 2nd's general election.