John Stone, a Republican aide currently working for U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), told Roll Call on Friday that he will challenge Democrat John Barrow (R-Ga) in 2014 for Georgia’s 12th congressional district.
“Get ready, Mr. Barrow,” Stone told Roll Call in an interview.
Stone ran against Barrow in 2008 and lost by 30 points. But the 12th district has been redrawn after the 2010 census, to include more conservative regions and exclude the liberal ones, such as Savannah. Stone even kept his 2008 John Stone for Congress website.
Barrow will be extremely vulnerable in 2014. The Democrat managed to hold on to his district in 2012 but that’s when President Barack Obama was on the ballot, encouraging very high Democratic turnout.
In addition, Barrow’s Republican challenger, state Rep. Lee Anderson, was a very weak candidate who refused to debate the Democrat. Barrow won by seven points.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is also expected to heavily invest in the 12th district, following the big disappointment of the 2012 loss. As a matter of fact, the NRCC never really stopped going after the congressman, and they send out Barrow-bashing mass emails on almost daily basis.
Stone promised not to make the same mistakes as Anderson, and has already committed himself to debate Barrow “every two weeks from the end of the primary until the general election.”
However, it is not certain that Barrow will even run for reelection. Georgia is set to host a competitive Senate race in 2014 to replace U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga).
Most analysts believe Barrow has better chances in a state-wide race than in his conservative district. The congressman has a voting record of a centrist politician and he is a member on the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives.
According to the Roll Call interview, Stone plans on focusing on fiscal issues in his campaign for the 12th district.