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Bob Barr’s political comeback falls short in Georgia

Barr, a former GOP congressman and 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate, loses U.S. House runoff

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

georgia mugMARIETTA, Georgia (CFP) — Bob Barr, a former GOP congressman who bolted the party to seek the Libertarian presidential nomination in 2008, has fallen short in his bid to return to Congress as a Republican.

barr lgBarr, 65, lost the GOP runoff for Georgia’s open 11th District U.S. House seat to former State Senator Barry Loudermilk, who took 69 percent of the vote to 31 percent for Barr. Loudermilk had led in the first round of balloting on May 20.

Loudermilk’s win means he will be headed to Congress because no Democrat filed to run in the 11th District, a heavily Republican enclave in Atlanta’s northwest suburbs.

Barr, a former federal prosecutor, was first elected to Congress in the Republican wave of 1994. But he was defeated in a primary in 2002 after the Democratic-controlled Georgia legislature dismembered his district, forcing him to run against another Republican incumbent, former U.S. Rep. John Linder.

By 2006, Barr had left the GOP for the Libertarian Party and was its presidential nominee in 2008. He won just 0.4 percent of the national vote.

There is precedent for Barr’s attempt at a Republican comeback. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul returned to Congress as a Republican in 1996 after running as the Libertarian nominee in 1988.

The 11th District seat opened up when U.S Rep. Phil Gingrey made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate.

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