Politics & Government

Incumbents Bishop and Isakson appear headed for victory in re-election bids

Congressman Sanfrod Bishop
Congressman Sanfrod Bishop jpaull@ledger-enquirer.com

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson appear headed for victories in the 2nd Congressional District and the race for Senate.

With unofficial returns from 27 of 29 counties, Bishop, D-Albany, was leading Republican Greg Duke by a 59 percent, or 118,114, to 41 percent, or 83,494, vote in the district that covers 29 counties from Columbus to middle Georgia to Cairo.

Isakson, who has won re-election to the U.S. Senate, proclaimed victory and praised his opponent in a speech to supporters at the state GOP’s election night party in Atlanta. With 145, or 159 counties, Isakson tallied 55 percent, or 1,968,826, to 40 percent, or 1,435,342, for Democrat Jim Barksdale. Libertarian Allen Buckley had 4 percent, or 146,631.

Isakson said his challenger Barksdale had called him moments ago to concede the race and congratulate him on the win, which Isakson said was a class act.

Isakson said, “God bless him, I wish him the best of luck.”

Barksdale is a newcomer to state politics and ran a sleepy campaign until early October, when he ramped up criticism of Isakson’s continued endorsement of Trump.

Though he was expected to win, Isakson sometimes struggled to draw a line between himself and Trump while maintaining support for the party’s divisive presidential nominee.

In the race to replace the retiring U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland after six terms, the 3rd Congressional District of Georgia appears to be staying Republican. Drew Ferguson, a dentist and the former mayor of West Point, is holding a commanding lead over Democrat Angela Pendley, a health n care contractor in Grantville.

With 10 of the district’s 13 counties reporting complete results as of late Tuesday, Ferguson has 68 percent (157,418 votes) and Pendley has 32 percent (75,076 votes). In fact, including the counties reporting only partial results, Ferguson was leading Pendley in 12 of the 13 counties — all except Henry County, where Pendley beat Ferguson 14,310 to 12,758.

Muscogee County’s partial results show Ferguson leading Pendley 6,310 to 3,265. Harris County’s complete results show Ferguson beat Pendley 12,296 to 3,714.

The district was drawn to favor Republicans, and Westmoreland won his last contested campaign with 69.5 percent of the vote in 2010. Pendley reported raising no cash for the race; Ferguson raised more than $1.1 million.

In Georgia Senate District 29, incumbent Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, was easily on his way to re-election. With two of the four counties in the district reporting complete results, McKoon was leading with 65 percent (28,763 votes) to 35 percent (15,284) for Democrat Ben Anderson, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website at 10:51 p.m.

McKoon was dominating in each of the four counties. In the two counties with complete results, McKoon received 11,892 votes in Harris County while Anderson received 3,993, and McKoon received 5,142 votes in Meriwether County while Anderson received 3,570. In the counties with partial results, McKoon received 11,212 votes in Muscogee County while Anderson received 7,330, and McKoon received 517 votes in Troup County while Anderson received 391 votes.