GOP names initial 3 candidates for 2nd District race

Published 8:21 am Friday, February 17, 2012

Three men have already announced their candidacies for the Republican nomination in the U.S. House’s 2nd Congressional District.

The seat is currently held by Sanford Bishop Jr., a Democrat from Albany, Ga. The three Republican candidates who will potentially challenge Bishop in the Nov. 6 general election are Rick Allen, the owner of a pharmaceutical company in Columbus, Ga.; John House, a retired U.S. Army colonel who owns a consulting business in Columbus; and Ken DeLoach, an educator and associate pastor from Warner Robins, Ga.

Allen was beaten in the 2010 Republican primary by Mike Keown, who eventually lost in the general election to Bishop by less than 5,000 votes.

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Allen, DeLoach and House will compete for the Republican nomination in the state primary on July 31. Any other candidates willing to run for the nomination must file by May 25.


Who is Rick Allen?

Rick Allen of Columbus, Ga.

Allen graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and a minor in advertising. He worked at the Marietta Daily Journal for two years, and then joined his father at Goldline Laboratories, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., selling generic drugs to independent pharmacies in the Southeast.

Allen and his father founded Vita-Rex Corporation in Columbus in 1978, as a pharmaceutical wholesaler to sell generic drugs and vitamins to customers in the Southeast, as well as nationwide. He has been president and general manager of the company since 1978.

According to his campaign website, Allen believes the founding principles of our country, as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, need to be restored in government for the United States to continue as a great nation. His campaign platform emphasizes core conservative values, such as limited government, individualism and fiscal responsibility.

Allen is a pro-life Christian and attends Wynnbrook Baptist Church in Columbus. He has two daughters, Ashlea and Lindsay, and two grandchildren.

His website is


Who is Ken DeLoach?

Ken DeLoach of Warner Robins, Ga.

DeLoach was born in Baxley, Ga., in 1959. He grew up working on his grandfather’s farm and family business. He graduated from Appling County High School and continued his education in Cleveland, Tenn., at Lee University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Christian Education. He later attended the Church of God Theological Institute in pursuit of a master’s degree. He is an ordained bishop in the Church of God.

DeLoach moved to Houston County 17 years ago and has since served as a senior and associate pastor at several churches. He is currently the associate pastor at River of Light in Warner Robins, and also works at Central Fellowship Christian Academy in Bibb County, where he is the dean of students.

DeLoach married his wife, Lynn, in 1987. She is a registered nurse and they have two sons, Caleb, 16, and Andrew, 14. He is currently the vice chairman of the Houston County GOP.

According to DeLoach’s website, “I believe it’s time to give the ‘People’s House’ back to the people. The House of Representatives was created so the citizen could have a voice in government.

“Congressman Sanford Bishop has made a career of voting against the principles and overwhelming voice of the people in the 2nd District. He has cast his votes to the far left and abandoned our values each time he voted.”

His campaign website is


Who is John House?

John House of Columbus, Ga.

According to his campaign website, House grew up in Columbus and graduated as the valedictorian from Columbus High School in 1971. He attended Auburn (Ala.) University on a four-year ROTC scholarship. Upon designation as a Distinguished Military Graduate, House received a commission as a second lieutenant June 5, 1975, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business degree with Highest Honors.

He served in numerous command and staff positions in the United States, Germany, South Korea and Southwest Asia (Desert Shield and Desert Storm). He retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel in 2001, after serving 26 years in uniform. Since retiring, he has worked as a consultant and Army civilian employee, and founded a small business specializing in Defense Department industry consulting.

He is an active member of St. Luke Methodist Church in Columbus and declares himself to be “pro-life.” Some of the issues important to him, according to his website, include increased job growth, lower taxes and responsible representation.

He is married to Marilyn House and they have four daughters, Shannon Jennings, Amanda Merritt, Mary House and Second Lt. Carole House. They also have three grandchildren.

House’s website is