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25 March 2010

John Barrow Facing Some Real Trouble From 12th District Democrats

With his vote against the health care bill Sunday, Congressman John Barrow (D - Georgia) earned the ire of Democrats in his district. Now there's talk of a serious challenge against Barrow in the July primary.

The political repercussions of Democratic Rep. John Barrow ’s “no” vote on the health care bill are reverberating on Capitol Hill and in his eastern Georgia district this week, as talk of the three-term congressman drawing a serious primary challenge is heating up.

Barrow is already facing former state Sen. Regina Thomas in a rematch of the 2008 primary that Barrow eventually won in a cakewalk after Obama’s endorsement. But in recent days, there has been increased speculation about a possible primary bid by state Sen. Lester Jackson, who replaced Thomas in the state Senate in 2008 after serving a decade in the state House.

Under one scenario, Jackson’s entry into the primary would allow Thomas — who was never a strong fundraiser during her 2008 run and had less than $5,000 on hand at the end of 2009 — to drop out of the congressional contest and run for her old state Senate seat. That would allow Jackson to consolidate the support of black voters, who are expected to make up nearly two-thirds of the Democratic primary electorate in the 12th district this summer.

McArdle, John (2010-3-25). Vote Provokes Barrow Primary Talk. CQ Politics. Retrieved on 2010-3-25.

The Savannah Morning News reported Wednesday that local state legislators have either endorsed former state Sen. Regina Thomas or yanked their support from Barrow entirely [Peterson, Larry (2010-3-24). Black backlash against health care vote looms over Barrow's re-election prospects. Savannah Morning News. Retrieved on 2010-3-25.].

State Reps. Bob Bryant and Mickey Stephens, for example, are now backing Regina Thomas.

The question, however, is if Democrats can hold on to Barrow's seat if he's defeated in the primary.