Georgia Congressman Takes the Wheel

Back to Driving Force, Spring 2018


U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop Named Co-Chair of Motorsports Caucus

  U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) was recently named co-chair of the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus.

By Christian Robinson

Like many Congressman, U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop (D-GA) has been bestowed with many honors and titles during his lifetime. Amongst them are husband, father, grandfather, Eagle Scout, soldier, Mason, Shriner, cancer survivor and black belt, just to name a few. Recently, Congressman Bishop added another title to his collection—co-chair of the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus.

Formed in 1996 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American automobile, the bipartisan Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus pays tribute to America’s ever-growing love affair with the automobile and motorsports. After serving for more than 20 years as a founding co-chair of the caucus, U.S. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) decided it was time to hand over the keys to a new leader, and Rep. Bishop was anxious to take the wheel. He will join U.S. Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Jon Tester (D-MT) as caucus co-chairs. Rep. Levin will remain as chairman emeritus.

“In Georgia, we take pride in our ‘do it yourself’ attitude and tuning up cars is no different. We should be encouraging tinkerers at heart to challenge themselves, and it can start in the garage—the same way as with many great innovators of our time,”

Rep. Bishop said. “Like many, I enjoy driving on the open roads in middle and southwest Georgia and am proud to represent our interests in the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus.” Rep. Bishop is no stranger to the automotive hobby. In 2015, he threw his support behind the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which Congress passed and signed into law as part of a larger transportation bill. Under the law, small-volume automakers are allowed to make up to 325 turnkey vehicles per year that resemble classic cars originally produced at least 25 years ago.

Rep. Bishop was also quick to act when the future of motorsports was put in jeopardy due to a new interpretation of the Clean Air Act by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With five race tracks in his district, Rep. Bishop wasted no time signing-on as a co-sponsor of the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act in both 2016 and 2017. The legislation confirms that it’s always been legal to convert a street car into a race car for use solely at the track.

Born in Mobile, Alabama to an educator and a librarian, Rep. Bishop graduated from Morehouse College in 1968 before earning his law degree from Emory University in 1971. In between, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and then enrolled in Advanced Reserve Officer Training Corps. In 1977, he heard the call of public service, winning election to the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served until his election to the Georgia Senate in 1990. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, where he continues to serve residents of southwestern Georgia to this day.

The SEMA Action Network (SAN) welcomes Rep. Bishop and looks forward to working with him on Federal issues important to the auto hobby in the years to come.