OnlineAthens has a preview of a possible battle, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m positive that Barrow will not challenge Norwood. Instead, I’m sure Barrow will run in a newly drawn open seat. He will most likely run against Max Burns.
The Norwood campaign continues to float the idea that U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Athens, might run against him in a new 10th District that includes most everything north of Augusta and east of Walton County. Stone questioned whether Barrow was qualified to represent a 12th District that was reconfigured by the state legislature last spring to exclude Clarke County and include more rural counties in middle Georgia.
“Is he really going to move, or is he going to keep his family in Athens and rent an apartment? What is he going to do?” Stone said.
Congressmen are not required by law to live in the districts they represent.
Barrow is waiting until federal officials approve the new districts – which they are likely to do, according to Bullock – before deciding where he will call home next year, spokesman Harper Lawson said. Lawson denied that Barrow is considering staying in Athens and running against Norwood.
“Ever since this came up, we’ve said we’ll run in the district that includes the most of what is now the 12th,” he said.
That district remains the 12th, which will include 82 percent of the same territory it now encompasses, according to Lawson.
The changes, though small geographically, make the district more rural, more conservative and more Republican, though Bullock still counts Barrow as the favorite in a tight race because he is now the incumbent, will be able to raise more money and has taken several conservative positions on issues like burning the American flag.