Blue Dog John Barrow Suddenly Appears Vulnerable
by Andre Walker, Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 08:34:14 AM EDT
Meet John Barrow.
He's a member of the Blue Dog Coalition.
And he represents the 12th congressional district of Georgia, a congressional district won by President Obama in both the primary and the general election.
Congressman Barrow was among the 34 Democrats who voted against the health care bill [SOURCE: Roll Call 165]. That vote earned Barrow the ire of Democrats within his district. Several Democratic lawmakers have either withdrawn their support from Barrow or endorsed his primary opponent, former state Senator Regina Thomas [Peterson, Larry (2010-3-24). Black backlash against health care vote looms over Barrow's re-election prospects. Savannah Morning News. Retrieved on 2010-3-27.].
Tony Center, the local Democratic county chair, says Barrow is in some real trouble.
"I think it has brought his whole voting record to the forefront," Center said.
Center said he's "very disappointed" and that the [Chatham County Democratic] committee repeatedly called on Barrow to back the bill.
CQ Politics reports there are rumblings of a bigger name challenging Barrow in the July primary.
...in recent days, there has been increased speculation about a possible primary bid by state Sen. Lester Jackson. . .
Along with his work in the state legislature, Jackson, who is black, is a dentist and a Democratic national committeeman. Jackson was a champion of the health care bill in his home state and worked to rally support for the legislation.
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 2010-3-27.
Candidate Obama endorsed Barrow's re-election bid in 2008. The AFL-CIO backed Barrow in '06 and '08. This year, however, that could change as organized labor has thrown down the gauntlet.
"I hope this sends a message to Congress," Gerald McEntee, president of 1.6-million-member AFSCME, told the Huffington Post. "I think we have to demonstrate that we are not going to stand aside, that we are going to take them out if they don't help us at all." [Stein, Sam (2010-3-9). Labor On Dems Who Block Health Care Reform: We'll 'Take Them Out'. The Huffington Post. Retrieved on 2010-3-27.]
In addition, President Obama threatened not to campaign for any Democrat who did not support the health care bill [Spillius, Alex (2010-3-15). Barack Obama threatens to withdraw support from wavering Democrats. The Daily Telegraph (United Kingdom). Retrieved on 2010-3-27.
With the base gradually pulling their support from the three-term Congressman, John Barrow suddenly appears vulnerable for a strong challenge in the Democratic primary.
CQ Politics ranks the 12th district of Georgia as "likely Democratic."