Congressman Barrow gets new GOP challenger

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:24 AM
Last updated 4:20 PM
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Former Thunderbolt Councilman Carl Smith wants to be the Republican nominee against Democratic incumbent John Barrow.

Smith, a native of Thunderbolt, Ga., who serves as the town's fire chief, is seeking his party's nomination in the 12th Congressional District, which stretches to Richmond County.

He said he's running mostly in hopes of reining in what he says is runaway congressional spending that he says Barrow supports.

"The things they are doing in Washington, D.C., are completely out of control," Smith said. "Congress is running up debt that will never be paid off. Our children and grandchildren never will have a shot at the American dream."

Although an early supporter of President Barack Obama, Barrow sometimes has bucked his party on issues such as gun control, taxes, gay marriage and the war in Iraq.

Smith said the incumbent "has been able to get away with sounding like a conservative, but votes to borrow money we can never pay back."

Barrow spokeswoman Jane Brodsky rejected Smith's contention.

"The record speaks for itself," Brodsky said. "If Mr. Smith looks at it carefully, he will find that the congressman clearly takes into consideration that his actions have consequences and votes accordingly."

First elected in 2004, Barrow beat John Stone, his 2008 GOP foe, by a 2-to-1 ratio and is considered a heavy favorite for re-election. He raised $2.3 million for last year's campaign; Stone rounded up only $370,000.

Smith proposes to counter Barrow's financial advantage with a "where the rubber meets the road, grass-roots effort."

He said he has mobilized about 200 volunteers and already has support groups in more than half of the district's 22 counties. He also says he'll tap into his network of contacts in the public safety professions.

Before any showdown with Barrow, Smith must win the July 20, 2010, Republican primary. He'll face retired Army Lt. Col. Wayne Mosely of Vidalia, Ga., and perhaps others.


The Carl Smith profile

Age: 39

Education: Studied fire science for two years at Savannah Technical College

Occupation: Thunderbolt fire chief

Political experience: Served on Thunderbolt Town Council (1997-2001 and 2005-2009); unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Thunderbolt (2001); unsuccessful candidate for Chatham County Commission (2003).

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mad_max 05/20/09 - 09:21 am
Okay taxpayers. Start paying

Okay taxpayers. Start paying attention to these candidates. We need to pick a "cut spending" and "cut taxes" candidate and get behind him so we can take Barrow out in 2010. Barrow is a nice enough guy but he is a Pelosi puppet when it comes to spending and taxes, and he is a strong supporter of Obama's socicalist agenda. The TEA party started for sure in California yesterday. All of the policies and programs that have broke California are the same programs that Obama is implementing nationwide. California voters said yesterday "No more. Let it go broke and let's start all over again." Hopefully the federal government will not go bail them out. The taxpayers in California need to decide what's more important, fire and police protection or free medical care and welfare for illegal aliens. Write the president and your representatives in the House and Senate. NO BAILOUT FOR CALIFORNIA. What the are dealing with is a SELF INFLICTED WOUND and we should not bail them out. We are already dealing with our own self inflicted wound since January and we need to take these Dems out of office in 2010. You don't have to love voting for a Repub, but you do need to vote AGAINST JOHN BARROW.

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