Barrow gears up to fight for seat

Three-term Democratic Congressman John Barrow speaks at the Widows Home on Wednesday in Augusta. Barrow will face Republican Ray McKinney for the 12th District seat on Nov. 2.

Gearing up for an "all out" campaign to keep his seat in Congress, John Barrow visited Augusta this week and spoke during a meeting of human resource professionals.

"This is my seventh contested election in six years, and I only know two ways to run, unopposed and all-out.

"And I'm running all-out, as I always do."

Barrow, who defeated Regina Thomas in the July 20 Democratic primary, faces Republican nominee Ray McKinney in the Nov. 2 election.

McKinney, a nuclear project manager from Lyons, was endorsed by the Tea Party Express and won the Tuesday primary runoff with more than 62 percent of votes.

Washington, D.C., where Barrow has worked for six years, is no longer a place where congressional families get to know one another, he said.

Instead, it's the scene of "two completely different, extreme camps with a great big old chasm between them," he said.

The conservative "blue dog" Democrat ruffled some 12th District feathers earlier this year when he voted against President Obama's Health Care Reform Act.

Today, "excessive partisan gerrymandering" has left 90 percent of congressional districts nearly uniform politically, although Barrow's 12th District, reaching from Augusta to Savannah, is not, he said.

But out of that "toxic group" in Washington recently has come at least two useful laws, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for workers to bring pay discrimination claims, and the HIRE Act, which provides tax breaks to employers that hire unemployed workers, Barrow said.

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