Barrow says he has no plans to run for Senate seat

U.S. Rep. John Barrow says he hasn’t given “any serious thought” to a 2014 run for the U.S. Senate seat Saxby Chambliss is retiring from but adds that he sympathizes with the Republican senator’s frustration about gridlock in Congress.

“I understand his frustration, I really do,” said the Democrat on Tuesday at a crowded open house at his new Augusta headquarters, a windowed office deep within Enterprise Mill.

Unlike Chambliss, Barrow said he hadn’t “served in the good times as much as he did, so I really understand the frustration.”

Barrow, whose office is dotted with antiques including a bookcase owned by William Sylvanus Morris, dean of University of Georgia School of Law from 1900 to 1927, touched on the origins of a story he made famous in a fall campaign advertisement.

The ad, recently spliced by an anti-gun group over photos of the Newtown massacre, showed Barrow vowing “ain’t nobody going to take away” the gun he said his ancestors once used to help stop a lynching.

“It happened a long time ago,” Barrow said Tuesday. “There were places in this country where people actually did stand up for the rule of law. As a result, a lot of bad things happened in some places and they didn’t happen in other places. My great-great uncle Dave, and his nephew, my grandfather Jim Barrow, worked hand-in-hand one night to try to stop some of that from happening, and that story has been passed down in my family through the generations.”

Visitors to the open house included a paid tracker sent by the National Republican Congressional Committee, NRCC Regional Press Secretary Katie Prill confirmed.

Retired Procter and Gamble worker Fred Bussey said he came to the open house “to see if (Barrow) would stand by what he said” about protecting the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

Barrow relocated from an office in the Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corp. building on Laney Walker Boulevard to Enterprise Mill to become “a little more centrally located to everything,” Carbo said.

Barrow met with two Augusta commissioners Monday about securing funding to dredge Lake Olmstead, a demand made by neighbors. With the demise of earmarks, Carbo said the congressman can only refer the commission to grants and other sources.

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