Democrat Barrow holds off challenge; other Georgia incumbents win easily

U.S. Rep. John Barrow, the last white Democrat in the House from the Deep South, won re-election Tuesday in one of the more closely watched congressional elections in the nation.

Also Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly chose Doug Collins — a Republican state lawmaker from Gainesville — to represent the state’s new 9th District in North Georgia. He defeated Democrat Jody Cooley, an attorney from Gainesville.

All of Georgia’s other incumbent congressmen appeared to easily win re-election against challengers or faced no opposition on the ballot.

Barrow will represent the Augusta-based 12th District, which was redrawn to favor Republican candidates such as Anderson, a state lawmaker and hay farmer from Grovetown.

“We have known all along that there were going to be a lot of crossover votes because of Congressman Barrow’s independent record in Congress,” said Richard Carbo, a spokesman for the Barrow campaign. “We are just very confident that the voters of this district have decided to choose someone who is willing to work with members of both sides of the aisle to accomplish some of the biggest tasks ahead of Congress.”

His opponent, Republican Lee Anderson, had not yet conceded but said he was “still going to be here to be a servant, not a politician.”

“We are going to be here to serve this community any way we can,” Anderson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The National Republican Congressional Committee poured money into the 12th District race to unseat Barrow, a Harvard-trained trial lawyer. He is one of the last remaining Blue Dog Democrats, a group consisting mostly of Southern moderates who frequently break with leadership.

Barrow highlighted how he has often bucked his own party, underscoring his vote against the federal health care legislation and the fact that he often voted with Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Barrow also skipped the Democratic National Convention in September.

Anderson sought to tie Barrow to President Barack Obama, calling the president a socialist “who is destroying our great country.” Anderson also campaigned on scrapping the federal health care overhaul. And he pledged to oppose all attempts to hike income tax rates for individuals and businesses.

Anderson delivered a speech around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday thanking his family and friends.

“He thanked his volunteers and his family for their help and said we need to continue to work toward balancing the budget and bringing common sense to the Capitol,” said Ryan Mahoney, a campaign spokesman.

Here are the results from the other congressional races:

District 1: Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, defeated Democrat Lesli Messinger.

District 2: Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, turned back a challenge from Republican John House.

District 3: Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Coweta County, faced no challengers on the ballot.

District 4: Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, coasted to victory against Republican Chris Vaughn.

District 5: Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, won convincingly against Republican Howard Stopeck.

District 6: Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, bested Democrat Jeff Kazanow to win re-election.

District 7: Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, successfully defended his seat against Democrat Steve Reilly.

District 8: Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, had no opposition on the ballot.

District 10: Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, also had no opponents on the ballot.

District 11: Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, defeated Democrat Patrick Thompson.

District 13: Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, easily defended his seat against Republican S. Malik.

District 14: Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, won re-election against Democrat Danny Grant.

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