A Republican mid-decade redistricting made this Macon-based district more compact and somewhat more Republican. Democratic incumbent Jim Marshall faced a very tough challenge by former Congressman Mac Collins, who represented an adjoining district from 1993 to 2005. Less than 60 percent of the population in Marshall’s present 3rd District was retained in the new 8th District. The reconfigured 8th includes Butts County, the political base of his opponent, former Congressman Mac Collins, who once served as chairman of the county commission. On the other hand, the 8th also includes all of Macon, where Marshall served as mayor from 1995–99.
The race featured heavy spending, not only by the candidates themselves, but from independent groups. During the campaign, President George W. Bush attended a rally to try to help Collins. Marshall won reelection by some 1,700 votes.
Marshall was first elected to Congress in 2002, winning by only 50.5% to 49.5%. In 2004, he was reelected with 63%. In 2008 Marshall won a 57%-43% race. He lost his bid for reelection in 2010, when he received only 47% of the vote. For many years, Georgia's 8th congressional district was one of the most competitive House districts in the nation.