Democratic Rep. John Barrow had a decade in Congress to establish himself as an independent voice and he raised $3.1 million to defend his eastern Georgia seat.
The outcome of his race Tuesday wasn’t even close. Republican businessman Rick Allen defeated the Augusta Democrat with a commanding 55 percent of the vote. Don’t be surprised if several more election cycles pass before Georgians see that kind of drama again in a congressional election.
All 14 U.S. House districts in Georgia were up for grabs in the Tuesday midterm elections. But the only truly competitive race was between Barrow and Allen in the 12th District, which covered 19 east Georgia counties and includes the cities of Augusta, Statesboro, Vidalia and Dublin.
Barrow was the last white, Democratic congressman from the Deep South states of Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, and he had been a top target of the national Republican Party since winning his first election in 2004. The key to Barrow’s defeat goes back to the last time Georgia’s congressional map was redrawn in 2011.