MARIETTA — Eleventh Congressional District voters may choose to send a seasoned congressman back to Washington or take a shot in the dark by electing a neophyte, said former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Smyrna.
Six candidates ran in the Republican primary for the District 11 seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta).
Of the 57,009 voters, Loudermilk came in first with 20,862 votes, or 37 percent, followed by Barr with 14,704, or 26 percent, state Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Buckhead) with 8,448, or 15 percent, and Tricia Pridemore with 9,745, or 17 percent. Trailing behind them were Larry Mrozinski with 4 percent and Allan Levene with 2 percent.
With no Democrat in the race, the July 22 runoff is expected to determine the election.
“The important thing in this congressional race,” Barr said, “is whether or not the people of Cobb County and the people of the 11th District are going to have somebody represent them in the Congress who actually has the knowledge, the skill set, the experience working on those issues in that arena which is the Congress — not the Gold Dome, the Gold Dome doesn’t teach you anything about how to get things done in the Congress — or whether they want a neophyte up there who basically is just going to go up and by all accounts, by all analyses, vote no on everything.”
Barr, who served in the U.S. House from 1995 to 2003, claims Loudermilk has already alienated the Republican leadership, an action he called strange.
“Do we want somebody in the Congress representing the 11th District, and this applies especially to Cobb County, which if I’m not back in the Congress will be the first time in decades, at least three decades, that Cobb County has not had somebody from Cobb representing them in the House of Representatives,” Barr said. “Do the people want somebody that actually has a track record and the experience on the issues that matter to the district and to Cobb County to once again move those issues forward, or do they want to take a shot in the dark and send somebody up there with no experience in that arena, and who’s already basically told people I’m just going to be on my own up there. In other words, somebody that won’t get anything done.”