Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 1992, 11th term.

Born: February 4, 1947, Mobile, AL

Home: Albany

Education: Morehouse Col., B.A. 1968, Emory U., J.D. 1971

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1971–92.

Ethnicity: Black/African American

Religion: Baptist

Family: married (Vivian Creighton Bishop) , 1 children

Sanford Bishop, a Democrat first elected in 1992, calls himself a “traditionalist” on cultural issues, and his voting record is among the most conservative in the Congressional Black Caucus.

Bishop grew up in Mobile, Ala., where his father was a college president. He went to Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he was student body president in 1968 and sang at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. “I resolved, after his death, that I would try to follow in his footsteps,” he told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer years later. He went to Emory Law School then served in the Army. After a year in New York, he settled in Columbus to practice law. He was elected to the state legislature in 1976 at age 29. He served there until 1990, when he was elected to the Georgia Senate. In 1992, he ran for the U.S. House against Democratic Rep. Charles Hatcher, who, with more than 800 check overdrafts, was tarred by the House bank scandal that year. Bishop defeated Hatcher in the runoff 53%-47% and won the general election 64%-36%.

Bishop joined the conservative Blue Dog Democrats and over the years has supported a balanced budget, school prayer, a ban on flag burning and a proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage. He refused to back liberal Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California for Democratic leader after their party lost control of the House in 2010, saying that having her at the helm would make it difficult to recruit candidates in the South and Republican-leaning states. But he strongly backed the health care overhaul law, which she and President Barack Obama pushed through Congress, describing it in 2012 as “a piece of legislation whose time has come. People should not have to choose between going to the grocery store and getting their medicine.” In January 2013, Bishop joined the “Problem Solvers” coalition of lawmakers who agreed to meet monthly to promote bipartisanship.

With a seat on the Appropriations Committee since 2003, Bishop has worked to safeguard and deliver funds to the district’s military facilities. He also looks out for Georgia’s peanut farmers. He worked with the Republican House majority in 1996 on the Freedom to Farm Act to fashion a “market-oriented, no-net cost” program for peanuts. In 2002, he helped to craft the scaled-back program for peanut support, which was based on phasing out quotas and price guarantees. On the 2008 farm bill, he helped design the peanut-rotation program, which he said encourages “a cleaner, greener method of planting while ensuring an affordable and accessible supply to the markets that rely on U.S.-grown peanuts.”

After the Democrats won control of the House in 2006, Bishop was considered for the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee, but it ultimately went to Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas. Instead, Bishop gained seats on the constituent-friendly Agriculture, Defense, and Military Construction subcommittees at Appropriations.In 2008, he won passage of an amendment to the defense spending bill that provided 180 days of health care for military members who transition from active to reserve status. He introduced a bill in January 2011 to change a law preventing many disabled veterans from receiving full retirement pay and disability compensation; it drew more than 160 cosponsors.

Bishop faced serious reelection competition in 2000 from Dylan Glenn, a former aide to George H.W. Bush. The contest between two African-Americans in a rural, then majority-white district was unprecedented, but race was not an issue in the campaign. Bishop largely ignored the challenger and ran on his record, while Glenn offered the perspective of a new generation focusing on economic growth. Bishop won 54%-46%. Bishop contemplated a run in 2008 against GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss but decided to stay in the House, where his seniority gave him growing influence.

Then in 2010, Bishop found himself in the race of his life when Republicans targeted him for what they called excessive fealty to Pelosi. His opponent was Mike Keown, a white state representative who highlighted Bishop’s support of the Democrats’ health care overhaul. In the year’s anti-incumbent climate, Keown also got a strong boost from news reports that Black Caucus Foundation scholarships had gone to Bishop’s stepdaughter and his wife’s niece. Bishop said the scholarships were awarded before rules barring such awards were enacted.

He attacked Keown for lacking much of a political record and got a break of his own when a strategist for Keown was indicted in a vote-buying case in Alabama. Their battle went down to the wire, and Bishop prevailed with just 51% to Keown’s 49%.

Bishop got a break from Republican-led redistricting in 2012. State Republicans realized that protecting Bishop would help neighboring GOP Rep. Austin Scott and so turned Bishop’s seat into an African-American majority district by adding Macon to it. He won with 64% of the vote in the 2012 election.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3631

(202) 225-2203

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2407
Washington, DC 20515-1002

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3631

(202) 225-2203

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2407
Washington, DC 20515-1002

DISTRICT OFFICE

(229) 439-8067

(229) 436-2099

Albany Towers Suite 114
Albany, GA 31701-5132

DISTRICT OFFICE

(229) 439-8067

(229) 436-2099

Albany Towers Suite 114
Albany, GA 31701-5132

DISTRICT OFFICE

(706) 320-9477

(706) 320-9479

Heritage Tower Suite 201
Columbus, GA 31901-2778

DISTRICT OFFICE

(706) 320-9477

(706) 320-9479

Heritage Tower Suite 201
Columbus, GA 31901-2778

DISTRICT OFFICE

(478) 803-2631

(478) 803-2637

682 Cherry Street Suite 302
Macon, GA 31201-2634

DISTRICT OFFICE

(478) 803-2631

(478) 803-2637

682 Cherry Street Suite 302
Macon, GA 31201-2634

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

1909 Devon Drive
Albany, GA 31707

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

1909 Devon Drive
Albany, GA 31707

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Adilene Rosales
Legislative Assistant; Social Media Manager

Aerospace

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Michael Reed
Chief of Staff

Animal Rights

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Michael Reed
Chief of Staff

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Arts

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Budget

Michael Reed
Chief of Staff

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Campaign

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Commerce

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Consumers

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Disaster

Sharon Richter
Constituent Services Director

Toni Pickel
Constituent Services Representative; Office Manager

Economics

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Education

Adilene Rosales
Legislative Assistant; Social Media Manager

Family

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Finance

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Foreign

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Govt Ops

Sharon Richter
Constituent Services Director

Toni Pickel
Constituent Services Representative; Office Manager

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Adilene Rosales
Legislative Assistant; Social Media Manager

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Health

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Human Rights

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Immigration

Toni Pickel
Constituent Services Representative; Office Manager

Adilene Rosales
Legislative Assistant; Social Media Manager

Insurance

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Intelligence

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Internet

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Labor

Sharon Richter
Constituent Services Director

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Medicare

Sharon Richter
Constituent Services Director

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Military

Harry Crawford
Office Manager; Caseworker

Mike Calcagni
Defense Fellow

Minorities

Michael Reed
Chief of Staff

Native Americans

Adilene Rosales
Legislative Assistant; Social Media Manager

Privacy

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Recreation

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Science

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Seniors

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Small Business

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Adilene Rosales
Legislative Assistant; Social Media Manager

Social Security

Sharon Richter
Constituent Services Director

Toni Pickel
Constituent Services Representative; Office Manager

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Tax

Toni Pickel
Constituent Services Representative; Office Manager

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Technology

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Trade

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Transportation

Julian Johnson
Office Manager; Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Women

Jonathan Halpern
Legislative Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Sanford Bishop
Votes: 162,751
Percent: 63.78%
John House
Votes: 92,410
Percent: 36.22%
2012 PRIMARY
Sanford Bishop
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Sanford Bishop
Votes: 86,520
Percent: 51.44%
Mike Keown
Votes: 81,673
Percent: 48.56%
2010 PRIMARY
Sanford Bishop
Votes: 31,255
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Sanford Bishop
Votes: 158,435
Percent: 68.95%
Lee Ferrell
Votes: 71,351
Percent: 31.05%
2008 PRIMARY
Sanford Bishop
Votes: 59,384
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (51%), 2008 (69%), 2006 (68%), 2004 (67%), 2002 (100%), 2000 (54%), 1998 (57%), 1996 (54%), 1994 (66%), 1992 (64%)

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