ALBANY — Three Republicans are facing off Tuesday in the counties that comprise the 2nd Congressional District for the opportunity to challenge longtime U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, on Nov. 6.
Rick Allen, 61, of Column; Ken DeLoach, 53, of Macon, and John House, 58, of Midland, are running in the heavily Democratic district.
If none of the three wins a simple majority of the votes cast Tuesday, the top two would meet in a runoff election on Aug. 21.
While all three contend to be conservative Republicans at heart, the three come from different backgrounds and generally different regions of the district.
Running on the mantra, “Limited Government, Unlimited Possibilities,” owner of a medical supply business considers himself to be a pro-life, anti-tax tea partier who, according to his website, is the only GOP candidate with a business background.
He believes that the government is “bloated,” out of control and on an unsustainable trajectory.
He said believes he’s the best candidate because he can be fair to everyone in the congressional district.
“I believe I am the best candidate because I want to represent all the citizens of Southwest Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District in the most equitable manner possible, and to improve their outlook for the best possible life for themselves, and their families,” Allen told The Albany Herald.
“I believe I’m the candidate who can truly articulate the position that Sanford Bishop is not doing a good job of representing the 2nd District of Georgia,” he said. “With high unemployment, business failures, and his continued pursuit of adverse economic and social issues that are detrimental to all of his constituents, the case will not be hard to make.”
Allen, who also sought the GOP nomination two years ago, says he would work to lower taxes and decrease government regulations to grow jobs. He favors the 9-9-9 plan made famous by former GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain.
Allen also says he favors non-traditional educational alternatives, including charter schools, for-profit schools, homeschooling and school voucher programs and is in favor of abolishing the U.S. Department of Education.
In terms of agriculture, Allen says he supports efforts to deregulate farming and would rally behind the small family farmer rather than the corporate farms which often get the lion’s share of subsidies.
Allen says he supports a strong military but believes the country is overstretched serving as the “world’s policeman.” He also stated that the U.S. Constitution isn’t a living-breathing document but one that should be viewed in a strict and literal way.
On the other side of the district is Ken DeLoach. A farmer and ordained bishop in the Church of God, DeLoach says he’s a simple man with a simple approach to government.
According to his website, DeLoach says he believes that the “People’s House,” of Congress should be given back to the people and says that Bishop has abandoned the values of the people of the 2nd District.
DeLoach says he believes restoring America’s manufacturing dominance, reducing taxes and regulations are the keys to job creation.
He says he believes the country has a spending problem and that the federal government should only spend on the very necessities, and that the country should renew its priority towards energy independence, open up drilling in the gulf and in Anwar and that the federal government should make all new vehicle purchases be for those that run on Compressed Natural Gas.
Like Allen, DeLoach has embraced Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, says he believes in a strong and well-funded military, believes that life begins at conception and should be protected until natural death, believes in freedom of speech and religious freedom, tort reform and Ryan’s plan on social security reform.
DeLoach says he’s proud of his agricultural background and says that he’s the only candidate running who is poised to help keep agricultural interests centered on Southwest Georgia.
“I’m the only one running who has any kind of background in agriculture and in this district, that’s crucial,” DeLoach said. “We’ve got to have someone who can represent them in Washington fairly.
“We need someone who can represent our values and our concerns and tell Washington that we are ready for a true change. That’s why I think I’m best suited to take on Sanford Bishop in November.”
House, a retired Army colonel, has settled into retired life as a business consultant, forming JM Planning & Research, and is also an author.
While House didn’t return calls seeking information, according to his website House’s platform is based on job creation.
House has a three-prong approach to creating jobs which involves stabilizing the workforce through “reducing stress” on businesses; fostering ingenuity among existing residents of the district and recruiting industry that matches the skill set of the district.
House says he believes that energy independence will help spur economic development and believes that a balanced budget amendment is a necessity to get Congress pointed in the right direction on fiscal affairs.
He believes in overhauling the tax code and paying less taxes and believes in entitlement reform, including raising the age limit for Social Security.
House says that Bishop has given the 2nd District no voice in Washington and that he will provide more adequate representation.
House has pledged to support a repeal of the federal Affordable Care Act, saying that “people need jobs so they can purchase the health care they need.”
He also supports tort reform and is a pro-life supporter who would work to outlaw partial birth abortions, believes in a strong military and improved immigration policies.