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John Barrow Is Moving Back to Athens

After losing last week’s election, U.S. Rep. John Barrow is moving back to Athens.

Barrow, who lost his bid for a sixth term to Republican Rick Allen, has put his Augusta house up for sale and plans on coming back to his hometown, where he still owns a house and his family lives, spokesman Richard Carbo told the Augusta Chronicle.

Barrow comes from one of Athens’ most prominent families—his father was a judge, and his mother one of the most respected Democratic activists in the state. 

He was an Athens-Clarke County commissioner when he was first elected to Congress in 2004. But Republicans removed Athens from the 12th Congressional District, and Barrow opted to follow the district down to Savannah. 

Two years ago, the GOP took Savannah out of the 12th, too, to make the district even more conservative, and Barrow decamped for Augusta. 

He survived thanks to his moderate voting record and opponent Lee Anderson’s ineptitude, but Allen, a wealthy businessman who spent $1.5 million of his own money on the campaign, finally got him this year.

Barrow hasn’t announced what he plans to do career-wise. He’s said to covet a federal judgeship, and perhaps one might be forthcoming now that President Obama doesn’t need him to hold down the fort in the 12th. He could lobby or go back to being a lawyer. Or he could get back into politics; he’s only 59, and he’s one of the few Democrats left in Georgia with a track record of appealing to rural voters.