Roy Barnes

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Roy Barnes
Governor Roy Barnes.jpg
80th Governor of Georgia
In office
January 11, 1999 – January 13, 2003
Lieutenant Mark Taylor
Preceded by Zell Miller
Succeeded by Sonny Perdue
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 33rd district
In office
November 3, 1992 – November 3, 1998
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Don Wix
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 33rd district
In office
November 5, 1974 – November 6, 1990
Preceded by Jack Henderson
Succeeded by Steve Thompson
Personal details
Born (1948-03-11) March 11, 1948 (age 66)
Mableton, Georgia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Marie Dobbs
Children Harlan
Allison
Alyssa
Alma mater University of Georgia
Religion Methodism

Roy Eugene Barnes (born March 11, 1948) is an American attorney, politician and member of the Democratic Party who served as the 80th Governor of Georgia from January 1999 until January 2003.

A member of the Georgia Senate from 1974 to 1990, Barnes ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 1990, losing to Lieutenant Governor Zell Miller in the Democratic primary. Barnes then served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1992 to 1998. He ran for Governor again in 1998, handily winning the primary and general elections.

In 2003, Barnes was awarded the Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library for his success while Governor of minimizing the Confederate battle emblem on the Georgia state flag despite the political fallout. It is widely believed that his support of the flag change significantly contributed to his re-election defeat in 2002.[1]

After his defeat, Barnes resumed the practice of law and co-chaired the Aspen Institute Commission on No Child Left Behind Act. He returned to politics when he ran for Governor again in 2010, losing to Republican Nathan Deal.[2]

Early life, education and family[edit]

Roy Barnes was born on March 11, 1948 in Mableton, Georgia. His family owned a general store, which gave him his first exposure to politics as he listened to the conversations of the store patrons.[3]

Upon his graduation from South Cobb High School, Barnes enrolled at the University of Georgia. He was active on the debate team and spent his summers returning home to work in the family store. He graduated with a degree in history in 1969 and one year later married Marie Dobbs of Marietta, Georgia, with whom he has had three children.[3] Roy and Marie currently have six grandchildren.[4]

After college, Barnes enrolled in the University of Georgia School of Law. While there, he was elected president of the student bar association and was named outstanding senior. He graduated from law school in 1972 with honors and returned to Cobb County to work as a prosecutor in the Cobb County District Attorney's Office.[3]

Georgia General Assembly[edit]

Georgia Senate[edit]

Barnes’ political career began in 1974, when he was elected by the citizens of Mableton to the Georgia State Senate.[3] Upon his election, Barnes became the youngest member of the Georgia Senate at age 26.[5] Barnes went on to serve eight terms in the Georgia Senate.[6]

After his second term, he was named floor leader to Governor Joe Frank Harris and was appointed chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.[6] During his tenure in the Georgia Senate, he also served on the Senate Appropriations, Rules, and Transportation committees, and had a major leadership role in rewriting the Georgia constitution as chair of the Select Committee on Constitutional Revision.[5]

1990 gubernatorial election[edit]

After eight terms in the Georgia Senate, Barnes entered the 1990 gubernatorial election.[6] He faced Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and Lt. Governor Zell Miller in the Democratic Primary.[7] Barnes was defeated by Miller, who later won the election and became an ally of Barnes.[6]

Georgia House of Representatives[edit]

Barnes returned to politics in 1992, when he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. He was appointed vice-chair of the Judiciary Committee and chair of the Subcommittee on General Law. During his tenure in the Georgia House, he also served on the Rules and Banks and Banking Committees.[6]

Governor of Georgia[edit]

1998 gubernatorial election[edit]

In 1998, Barnes ran for governor again, this time defeating Secretary of State Lewis A. Massey to win the Democratic primary.[8] Running on the themes of education reform and health care reform,[6] he defeated Republican businessman Guy Millner in the general election with a victory of 53% to 44% to become the 80th Governor of Georgia.[9]

The Democrats retained control of both houses of the legislature[10] and retained all but two state level offices (Republicans were elected Insurance Commissioner and School Superintendent).[9]

Record as Governor[edit]

Georgia state flag from 1956 to 2001 with confederate flag emblem that was removed during Barnes governorship
Georgia state flag from 2001 to 2003
Current Georgia state flag since 2003

Barnes's tenure as governor was marked by accomplishment. In January 1999 after being elected Governor, Barnes’ first act of his new administration was to sign an order banning all lobbyist gifts to employees working in the executive branch. (AJC, 1/12/99). Roy Barnes also took executive action to change the flag of the state of Georgia, despite vocal opposition. The state flag had featured the Confederate battle emblem since 1956. His education reform measures included eliminating tenure for newly hired teachers and ending social promotion by requiring students to pass a test before advancing to the next grade. He also set up Georgia's Child Advocate Office and signed the Terrell Peterson Act to protect children at risk. He supported the building of the Northern Arc, an outer perimeter north of Atlanta, which met with opposition from the locals.[citation needed] During most of his tenure, his former law partner, State Senator Charles B. Tanksley served as his floor manager in the Georgia Senate.

2002 gubernatorial election[edit]

Facing re-election, he lost in an upset in November 2002 as part of a larger Republican midterm sweep.[11] Although some commentators have pointed to the ire of voters opposing the flag change and his upsetting of teachers as leading to his defeat, the cause was finally attributed toward a strong shift to GOP within that election cycle across many offices in the State of Georgia, at that time.[6] Barnes was defeated by Sonny Perdue, the first Republican to be elected Governor of Georgia since Reconstruction.[11]

According to Georgia Trend, "Democrat Roy Barnes was one of the most powerful governors in history. His nickname "King Roy" was an affectionate term accorded him by supporters because he knew how to pull the levers and make things happen in the legislature."[12]

Return to legal career[edit]

Following his defeat, Barnes decided to lend his talents to Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc., working for six months as a full-time volunteer. During this time, he provided legal advice to indigent clients pro bono, and established a website outlining the rights of consumers: www.myconsumerrights.com.[3]

Profile in Courage Award[edit]

For his leadership in minimizing the Confederate battle emblem on the Georgia state flag despite the political fallout, Barnes was awarded the 2003 Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library.[1]

Barnes Law Group[edit]

Upon completing his service at Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Barnes founded the Barnes Law Group with his daughter Allison Barnes Salter, son-in-law John Salter, and long-time law partner Charles Tanksley. The Barnes Law Group continues Barnes' private law practice which began in 1975 when he formed his first law firm.[5]

Georgia Supreme Court Rulings As Attorney[edit]

The Georgia Supreme Court on June 12, 2007 unanimously dismissed a legal challenge to the state's voter ID law. Former Gov. Roy Barnes, argued before the court that the voter ID law was unconstitutional because Ms. Lake the plaintiff and others did not have driver's licenses and were therefore excluded in a discriminatory manner.

The state's highest court said the only plaintiff in the case, Rosalind Lake, a first-time voter after moving to Georgia, had photo identification that would have qualified her to vote in July of last year, so she did not have legal standing to file suit.

"Because Lake possesses a photo ID acceptable for in-person voting under the 2006 Act, once again, she lacks standing to challenge the Act as an unconstitutional restriction on her right to vote," Justice Harold Melton wrote in the five-page opinion.

Legislators passed the law in 2005. Previously, Georgians could show one of 17 forms of ID, including those without photos, such as utility bills, to check in at the polls. Supporters said it would increase voter confidence through a better verification process. Legislators revised the law and made it easier for people to get free photo cards for voting, but the rules were repeatedly barred from implementation until the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law in early 2008.

Aspen Institute Commission on No Child Left Behind[edit]

On February 14, 2006, the Aspen Institute announced the forming of the Commission on No Child Left Behind. Barnes, along with former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, was named co-chair of the commission.[13]

According to its mission, the commission "is a bipartisan effort to identify and build support for improvements in federal education policy to spur academic achievement and close persistent achievement gaps."[14]

2010 gubernatorial election[edit]

Barnes announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Georgia in the 2010 election on June 3, 2009 in his hometown of Marietta, Georgia.[2]

Barnes’ campaign, Roy 2010, emphasized growing jobs, securing water sources, improving education, and expanding transportation options.[15] Barnes won the 2010 Democratic Primary on July 20, 2010, so faced off against Republican Nathan Deal and Libertarian John Monds.[16]

On November 2, 2010, Barnes conceded to Deal as the Republican rode a wave of GOP backing in the 2010 midterm elections.[17]

Electoral history[edit]

Georgia Gubernatorial Election 2010 – Democratic Primary[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Thurbert Baker 85,146 21.7
Democratic Roy E. Barnes 258,401 65.8
Democratic Bill Bolton 3,555 0.9
Democratic Carl Camon 4,152 1.1
Democratic Randall Mangham 3,106 0.8
Democratic DuBose Porter 16,499 4.2
Democratic David Poythress 21,613 5.5
Georgia Gubernatorial Election 2002[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Roy E. Barnes (incumbent) 937,062 46.3
Republican Sonny Perdue 1,041,677 51.4
Libertarian Gary Hayes 47,122 2.3
Georgia Gubernatorial Election 2002 – Democratic Primary[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Roy E. Barnes (incumbent) 434,892 100.0
Georgia Gubernatorial Election 1998[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Roy E. Barnes 941,076 52.5
Republican Guy Millner 790,201 44.1
Libertarian Jack Cashin 61,531 3.4
Georgia Gubernatorial Election 1998 – Democratic Primary Runoff[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Roy E. Barnes 221,651 82.9
Democratic Lewis A. Massey 45,735 17.1
Georgia Gubernatorial Election 1998 – Democratic Primary[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Roy E. Barnes 239,517 49.2
Democratic Morris James 9,148 1.9
Democratic Steve Langford 31,543 6.5
Democratic Lewis A. Massey 135,920 27.9
Democratic Carlton Myers 4,853 1.0
Democratic David Poythress 65,860 13.5
Georgia State Representative District 33 1996[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Roy E. Barnes (incumbent) 8,054 70.2
Republican Michael G. Greene 3,423 29.8
Georgia State Representative District 33 1996 – Democratic Primary[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Roy E. Barnes (incumbent) 1,078 100.0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Roy Barnes – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum". Jfklibrary.org. December 28, 2005. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Press Notification" (PDF). Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Governor Roy E. Barnes". The Aspen Institute. August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ a b c "Attorney Profile, Roy E. Barnes, Georgia Commercial Litigation". Barnes Law Group. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "New Georgia Encyclopedia: Roy Barnes (b. 1948)". Georgiaencyclopedia.org. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Zell Miller – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "July 21, 1998 – Federal and Statewide". Sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c "11/3/98 – Federal and Statewide". Sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  10. ^ "General Assembly of Georgia". Legis.state.ga.us. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c "11/5/2002 – Federal and Statewide". Sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  12. ^ Georgia Trend
  13. ^ "Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and Governor Roy E. Barnes Announce Commission on No Child Left Behind". The Aspen Institute. August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  14. ^ "About the Commission". The Aspen Institute. August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ "The 2010 Results Maps". Politico.Com. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Deal defeats Barnes to take Governor's Mansion". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved September 3, 2010. 
  18. ^ "July 20, 2010 – Governor". Sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  19. ^ "August 20, 2002 – Federal and Statewide". Sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  20. ^ "8/11/98 – Federal and Statewide". Sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  21. ^ "11/5/96 – State House". Sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  22. ^ "7/9/96 – State House". Sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Georgia Senate
Preceded by
Jack Henderson
Member of the Georgia Senate
from 33rd district

1974–1990
Succeeded by
Steve Thompson
Georgia House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from 33rd district

1992–1998
Succeeded by
Don Wix
Party political offices
Preceded by
Zell Miller
Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia
1998, 2002
Succeeded by
Mark Taylor
Preceded by
Mark Taylor
Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia
2010
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Zell Miller
Governor of Georgia
1999–2003
Succeeded by
Sonny Perdue