Tommie Williams says no to a run against John Barrow

After the Senate Reapportionment Committee sent the Republican congressional map on its way to the chamber floor, a couple of us caught President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, as he exited.

So is he interested in a run against Democratic incumbent John Barrow, who is soon to be a former resident of Savannah?

Williams’ Toombs County is in the new 12th District, drawn with a 20-point advantage for whichever Republican wins the chance to face Barrow down.

“It appeals to me, but the Georgia Senate appeals to me as well,” Williams said – adding that he has a young family.
So is he considering it? “Not at this point. At this point in time, I would say no.”

Moments after leaving, Williams came back to make it clear: For now, he’ll be running for re-election to his current Senate seat.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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39 comments Add your comment

Double Zero Eight

August 30th, 2011
12:43 pm

I bet he changes his mind. He said “not at this point”.
He has a lot of wiggle room.


August 30th, 2011
12:56 pm

I feel sorry for Barrow. Decent Democrats are such a rarity.

Chuck Allison

August 30th, 2011
1:00 pm

Tommie is not your typical politician. When he said that he had a young family, he was truthfully saying that his family means more to him than his political career. I wish the USA had more men like Tommie Williams.


August 30th, 2011
1:14 pm


I bet you believe congresspeople really retire to spend more time with their families as well.

As much a republicans are not willing to admit, Barrow is an extremely smart politician and very capable campaigner. They have consistently underestimated him. My bet is that Tommie Williams does not know whether or not he can raise the $2million+ that will be required to compete with Barrow or does not have the “fire in his belly” to do so.

I know I will catch some flak for this statement, but Barrow’s record is libertarian-lite. He is not a social conservative trying to put the government in your bedroom or doctor’s office and he is not really an economic liberal (personally he may be, but his record in Congress says otherwise).

Even with a 20pt advantage to the GOP, their success is going to be contingent on the capabilities of their candidate.


August 30th, 2011
1:16 pm

What a shame. Tommie would have taken him. Who’s next in line?

Democratic Plantation Dweller

August 30th, 2011
1:19 pm

No matter cause Obama is going to take care of us.


August 30th, 2011
1:21 pm

ole two face tommie. he will fit right in if he makes it to washihgton dc.

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

August 30th, 2011
1:39 pm

The media keeps repeating that John Barrow is the last “white democrat in the deep south”.

Ulm…..since when did Heath Schuler (Western NC) become “non-white”….or is it that the “deep south” ends at the Georgia state line with NC? NC is the “middle south?” or something?

It’s an interesting conversation to have…for the moment…until Barrow moves one more time…this time packing up and moving from the House Office Bldg after he loses in 12.

Daily Aued

August 30th, 2011
1:42 pm

Short-term Subcategory Association now supporting evidence of a similar appearance such as the letters “p” and “q” in several areas.

Georgia Hospital Employee

August 30th, 2011
1:43 pm

Thank God !!!!!


August 30th, 2011
2:03 pm

I’m willing to bet Ray McKinney can beat him. He did very well against him in 2010.


August 30th, 2011
2:18 pm

Young family, yes, but the guy also has like five businesses he runs. I wouldn’t want to take the pay cut running for Congress would entail either…


August 30th, 2011
2:22 pm

Yep, John Barrow, a man of strong principles and convictions. Voted against ObamaCare when he was running for re-election. After he won another term, then voted against repealing his president’s colossal blunder. Will the real J. Barrow please stand up (or sit down).

[...] in the corridors of the Capitol and over at the AJC are that Tommie Williams is saying that he won’t run for Congress from the 12th District, a [...]

Alabama Communist

August 30th, 2011
2:28 pm

More Breaking News On Republicans 20 point lead over a Dead Democrat district……..A source within the Democrat Party said today that they surrender the district to the Republicans and would no longer be living in the district. It was reported that thousands of Democrats are moving to South Carolina and would declared it a free State like the New Hampshire Libertarians did..


August 30th, 2011
2:31 pm

Why would Tommie go to the back bench in Washington when he is on top of the heap in Georgia?


August 30th, 2011
3:08 pm

Williams is anti public education. Plus he let his agricultural constituency down when he voted for the immigration law. However, as long as he has an R by his name he will win wherever he decides to run. Ordinary people continue to vote against their own self interests by electing right wingers to office.

R U Kidding Me?

August 30th, 2011
3:22 pm

The Georgia State Senate has NEVER been more dysfunctional than it is presently. And that is because of egomaniacs like Tommie Williams, mortgage fraud specialist Chip Rogers, hypocrite Cecil Staton and ethically challanged Don Balfour. Like him or not Casey Cagle was elected statewide to the office of Lt. Governor. His duties are to run the State Senate. But somebody forgot to tell Tommie that getting elected in Lyons, Georgia does not entitle you to take over the duties of the Lt. Governor. The State Senate is in shambles as a result. Ask David Ralston who constantly complains that he never knows who is in charge in the Senate these days. One day its Williams, the next its Rogers.

The State Senate will never get any better until Williams, Rogers, Staton, and Balfour are sent home. Let’s encourage Tommie Boy to run for Congress so when Barrow beats him, he can go back to raking up pinestraw with his illegal migrant workers.


August 30th, 2011
3:32 pm


North Carolina is not the deep south. Come on, that’s dixie geography 101.

Tommie Williams Out in 12th CD

August 30th, 2011
4:19 pm

[...] in the corridors of the Capitol and over at the AJC are that Tommie Williams is saying that he won’t run for Congress from the 12th District, a seat [...]

Don't Kid Yourself

August 30th, 2011
4:40 pm

To “R U Kidding Me?” –

The Senate no longer has a power figure who threatens Chairmanships and as a result, Senators can vote their conscience, not what Cagle wants. The House members can’t say the same.

While there may be drama surrounding the “sharing” agreement, it has worked well for the body. Legislators are given the freedom to represent their constituents. And yes, again, the House can’t say the same.


August 30th, 2011
5:08 pm

@candide decent democrats are such rarity.Make that politicians and I will agree with you.As of now I think the R-pugs out do the Dems in indecency.


August 30th, 2011
5:16 pm

Ray McKinney did not do well…the guy went into debt and lost big time. He only received 45% of the vote because it was 2010 (for those of you that are familiar with basic statistical methods you will understand what that means). The guy might be a decent mechanical services provider (whatever that means), but from what I heard out of his campaign I do not trust that guy to make decisions that will effect my pocket book. I still can not find out where he went to college. In the end, his grasp on the issues of the day is shallow and merely a parroting of what the right-wing pundits say, his grasp on technical issues is tenuous. He could not define the financial term credit default swap when I asked him to clarify his position on financial regulation at a town hall meeting in the 2010 election cycle. He has these blanket statements about deregulation, but has no knowledge about what he is making issue statements about.

Barrow is smart and will retire if it seriously looks as if he will not win the election (I do not say reelection because we have yet to see if he will run in a different district since the GOP thought it best to move his district away from his home, once again)…in the words of so many, he will retire to “spend more time with his family.”


August 30th, 2011
5:47 pm


If Barrow wins, we still have a sellout, DINO.

If Barrow loses in the primary, we may have a REAL DEMOCRAT

If Barrow loses in the General, we fade further into national laughinstock.


August 30th, 2011
6:08 pm

Once upon a time the house represented their districts and when it made sense the senate would agree. Now it must meet purity tests. Could we ever get back to the time of President Reagan when the party’s worked together for the greater common good?


August 30th, 2011
6:37 pm

Barrow is a smart guy. I hope he sees where pandering to the right wing got him.

Georgia Values

August 30th, 2011
6:52 pm

Ben Harbin would seem to be the logical choice. A Richardson guy who has still hung on to some degree of popularity. Would seem that his time in the House has run it’s course since he does not live far enough north. This would be a logical next step for him.


August 30th, 2011
7:12 pm

He could always pull a Deal

south ga. possum

August 30th, 2011
10:04 pm

What if…that’s What if…John Barrow were to decide to come over and join the Republican party. Oh my gosh…talk about monkeying up Washingtons monkey show and making Georgia politics fun…That would do it.


August 30th, 2011
10:49 pm

Why do people automatically assume that John Barrow will lose if he runs in his district? I would hope that the people of Georgia would vote for the best qualified person regardless of political party or race or any other superfluous items. If Barrow has done a good job; keep him.


August 30th, 2011
11:02 pm


Apparently you are not aware of the 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, or 13th Districts, not to mention the 1st where the insurance industry has the representation they paid for.

Best candidate? Maybe best funded.


August 30th, 2011
11:24 pm

Remember all those years reading about how the kids in GA were at the bottom of the national education barrel? Well, they all vote now.


August 30th, 2011
11:28 pm

and has Glenn Richardson killed himself yet, or is he still trying?

fire eater

August 31st, 2011
4:59 am

Let’s see how many votes a Republican can get by running on a platform consisting solely on attacking the third world immigration invasion of America.


August 31st, 2011
6:21 am

John Barrow is a Marxist. He does not represent Georgia. Good bye and good riddance.


August 31st, 2011
8:21 am


If you don’t understand Marxism, please don’t attach the moniker to anyone. I am not a fan of Barrow or any other ultra-conservative blue dog, but I can say without a doubt, a ‘marxist’ he ain’t.

[...] GA-12: Republican state Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, newly drawn into the much redder [...]

[...] • GA-12: Republican state Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, newly drawn into the much redder iteration of Dem Rep. John Barrow’s district, said he is not considering a run for Congress “at this point in time.” [...]

Savannah Moderate

August 31st, 2011
5:48 pm

Can anybody tell me why John Barrow shouldn’t be re-elected, other than the fact that after his name comes one letter rather than another? Despite being a Democrat, Barrow is conservative and smart, and he has worked tirelessly for the interests of his constituents. He voted against the bank bailout, Obamacare, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, cap and trade, etc. You name the bill that raised taxes or unnecessarily expanded federal oversight – he voted against it. Also, as a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, he has done more for his district’s veterans than Tommie Williams, Ray McKinney, or any Republican who wants to challenge him. He voted against the repeal of Obamacare simply because that Republican effort in the House was a waste of time. The Democrat-controlled Senate never would have approved of the repeal, and even if it had, Obama never would have approved of it. Barrow wants to use his constituents’ tax dollars as efficiently as possible by forgoing such worthless legislative endeavors in which the symbolism outweighs the substance.