- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Bob Barr, the fiery Georgia conservative and burr in the side of former President Clinton, will try to regain a seat in the House of Representatives.
Mr. Barr was defeated in a bid for a fifth term last year by Rep. John Linder, Georgia Republican, in the primary for that state's 7th Congressional District. He took a job with the American Civil Liberties Union two months ago and showed up often as a talking head on cable news shows. But the itch of politics quickly became too hard to ignore.
"I care deeply about this district, and I want to play a part in helping it continue to drive much of the economic success of the metro Atlanta region," Mr. Barr said in announcing his candidacy Monday.
The chance opened for Mr. Barr when Rep. Johnny Isakson, Georgia Republican, declared himself a candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Democratic Sen. Zell Miller. Georgia's redrawn 6th District includes some of Mr. Barr's old political stomping grounds, though a Georgia Republican strategist said yesterday the 6th District is not as conservative as the one Mr. Barr left.
Mr. Barr has high name recognition in the district and a $3.5 million head start in fund raising, but he can't expect a coronation. The strongest of several potential primary candidates includes wealthy state Sen. Robert Lamutt and state Sen. Tom Price.
Mr. Price, said one local Republican strategist, is "very well known in Atlanta as someone who can get things done."
Other potential Republican challengers to Mr. Barr are state Sen. Chuck Clay, state Rep. Roger Hines and Fulton County Commission Chairman Mike Kenn.
"Whoever goes up for the seat, we have a pretty deep bench," said a Georgia Republican. "We've got a lot of talented people here."
Whoever wins the primary can expect an easy general election victory.
Mr. Isakson won with 80 percent of the vote in November.
Upon his defeat at the hands of Mr. Linder, Mr. Barr raised eyebrows by taking a position with the ACLU as an expert on privacy issues.
Mr. Barr has garnered praise from the ACLU since the mid-1990s, when he criticized Clinton administration anti-terrorist measures as overreaching.
Mr. Barr is also pursuing a federal lawsuit against Mr. Clinton. He claims the White House orchestrated a campaign to damage his reputation.


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