Deep South's Last White Democrat Survives GOP Challenge

Wednesday, 07 Nov 2012 10:39 AM

 

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The last white Democrat in the House of Representatives from the Deep South, John Barrow of Georgia, was re-elected, beating a Republican challenger in a district redrawn to include more Republican voters, unofficial results showed on Wednesday.

Barrow, who has served in Congress since 2005, defeated state Representative Lee Anderson, a white Republican, by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent in a race for the 12th District seat in southeast Georgia.

There are no white Democrats in the U.S. House from the other Deep South states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina as white voters in the region have increasingly switched to the Republican Party.

Barrow survived the re-election challenge because he is a moderate Democrat, Charles Bullock, professor of political science at the University of Georgia, told Reuters.

"Barrow is not [liberal House Democratic leader] Nancy Pelosi, although Republicans tried to paint him as such," Bullock said. "He is light years away from her."

Barrow raised $2.6 million for his campaign, more than twice as much as Anderson, according to the Federal Election Commission. However, outside groups, including the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, spent more than $3 million to try to defeat Barrow, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Republican-dominated Georgia legislature redrew Barrow's district so that it included more Republican voters.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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