Credit: Grant Blankenship/GPB
Chris West and Jeremy Hunt find no common ground in their last meeting ahead of congressional runoff
Voters will choose Tuesday between two Republicans--Chris West and Jeremy Hunt-- who both seek to unseat Democrat Sanford Bishop in Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District. Their final meeting before the runoff vote revealed a little of what separates them politically.
The venue was the monthly meeting of the Bibb County GOP which started with reminders not to skip the peach cobbler and ice cream before the candidates were both given 15 minutes of time apiece.
In his time, West, an attorney for a southwest Georgia based retail shopping developer, criticized Hunt, a longtime Fox News contributor, for packing his campaign chest with money raised outside the state. Some 87% of small donations to Hunt came from outside Georgia, particularly from Texas. Hunt appeared on Fox News as a commentator as recently as this month.
Fox News is in fact being sued by another former District 2 candidate, Wayne Johnson, who alleges that the air time given to Hunt amounts to a violation of campaign finance law and RICO statutes.
Hunt countered that compared to West, he was simply the stronger candidate and that bringing in out of state cash was simply the cost of putting together the resources to unseat Democrat Sanford Bishop, seen as key to flipping the US House majority after the midterms.
On the issues, West said he is against abortion any time for any reason. Hunt said abortion should be allowed only in order to save a mother’s life.
Neither agreed on the greatest danger currently facing the nation, either. For Jeremy Hunt it was China.
“Biden wants to make everything about Ukraine,” Hunt said. “China right now... they are now having American companies, all these woke corporations, will have the rainbow flag on their logo, but then they're doing business dealings with a corrupt Chinese government.”
For Chris West, the greatest danger is financial and closer to home.
“Yes, China is our number one peer to peer adversary,” West said. “But our true overall long term threat is our national debt. And that’s a military threat. We are right now at what? $31 trillion? At some near point we will not be able to sustain our interest payments.”
When the same question was posed to the District 2 incumbent Sanford Bishop, in a forum in Macon earlier this year, he called domestic terrorism and white supremacy the greatest dangers to the country.
“We have domestic terrorists that are within our ranks. I had the opportunity to serve for six years on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that was pre, during and post 911,” Bishop said. “During the course of my service on the Intelligence Committee, I was made aware of a number of groups that were existing not only in the United States but in the 2nd Congressional District that were terrorist groups.”
Bishop is seen by many as the last of the so-called Blue Dog Democrats (meaning they run moderate to conservative)in Georgia’s congressional delegation.