George Barker (Virginia politician)
Barker in 2009
|Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 39th district
January 9, 2008
|Preceded by||Jay O'Brien|
|Born||George Lincoln Barker
August 24, 1951
Eldorado, Illinois, U.S.
|Residence||Fairfax County, Virginia|
|Alma mater||Harvard University (A.B., M.S.)|
|Committees||Finance, Education and Health, General Laws and Technology|
George Lincoln Barker (born August 24, 1951) is an American politician of the Democratic Party from Virginia. He currently serves in the Senate of Virginia, representing the 39th district, made up of parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties, plus part of the City of Alexandria. He was first elected in November 2007.
Barker attended Harvard University, where he received an A.B. degree in Economics and Public Health and an M.S. degree in Health Policy and Management. He began a career in health systems planning with the Health Care Agency of Northern Virginia in the mid-1970s.
In 1990 Barker became the chair of the newly formed Northern Virginia Perinatal Council. The following year, he became president of his homeowner's association. In 2001, he was appointed chair of the Fairfax County Transportation Advisory Commission.
As vice-chair of the Tysons Task Force, Senator Barker worked to improve transportation conditions and helped to re-design Tysons Corner. He has also chaired several other state, county, and regional organizations related to health care, human resources, and transportation.
Outside of his legislative duties, Barker serves as the current Executive Director of the Greater Prince William County Health Center.
Virginia State Senate
Barker announced his candidacy in 2007 against incumbent Republican Jay O'Brien, who represented the 39th District, located in Fairfax County. On June 12, Barker defeated Greg J. Galligan in the Democratic primary, 2,585 to 1,641.
O'Brien said that illegal immigration was one of the biggest issues of concern to district voters, proposing aggressive crackdowns. Barker said that voters in the district were more interested in issues such as transportation funding. Barker defeated O'Brien in the general election on November 6, receiving 19,282 votes to O'Brien's 19,131.
2008-2011 legislative sessions
In June 2011, the Fairfax Connection said that in the Senate, "Barker has been one of the most successful members in terms of getting legislation through the General Assembly. In the most recent session, for example, he was one of two members who were able to get 20 bills or more to the governor’s desk."
In early 2010, O'Brien announced that he intended to run for the seat he had lost in 2007. Scott Martin, an assistant dean at George Mason University who ran unsuccessfully for a Fairfax County School Board seat in 2003, also announced he planned to seek the Republican nomination. As of June 2011, O'Brien was no longer running, and Martin had been joined by two other Republican candidates, former Justice Department official Miller Baker and special-education assistant Andre Muange. Muange also dropped out, and Baker defeated Martin 73%-27% in the August 23, 2011 primary.
The Barker-Baker contest was expected to be very close. The total spending for the two campaigns was $1.7 million, the seventh-highest among the 40 Senate contests. Barker won with over 53% of the vote.
2012-2015 legislative sessions
In July 2014, Barker, arguing for Medicaid expansion in Virginia, said that uncompensated care has "gone down by 30 percent just in the first few months" of Medicaid expansions in the states that adopted it. PoliticFact Virginia evaluated the claim, rating it "True"; it was the top-read Virginia Truth-O-Meter story of 2014.
Barker was the sponsor of SB1122, passed in 2015, that requires Virginia colleges to immediately notify parents and proactively handle suicide risks on campus with a coordinated support network involving the student, friends, health or counseling centers on campus, and parents. Barker worked on similar bills for several previous years.
Joe Murray, a Republican, is challenging Barker in the November 2015 election.
Barker and his wife, Jane, have two children, Erik and Emily. He was PTA president at both Robinson Secondary School (1992–94) and Mount Vernon High School (2000–01). He and his wife currently live in Clifton, in Fairfax County.
- Senate of Virginia bio, retrieved June 16, 2011
- "Meet Senator Barker". Senator George Barker.
- "2007 June Democratic Primary; Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2011-10-02.
- Daniel Nasaw (November 5, 2007). "Virginia tests water for great immigration debate". The Guardian (U.K.).
- "November 6, 2007 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011.
- "Virginia State Board of Elections — Election Information — Election Results". Archived from the original on June 17, 2010. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- Michael Lee Pope (June 8, 2011). "Redistricting Alters Candidates' Battleground; Precincts switch from Lee to Mount Vernon". Fairfax Connection.[permanent dead link]
- Anita Kumar (March 18, 2010). "Two Republicans to challenge Barker for Senate in Northern Virginia". Washington Post.
- August 23, 2011 Republican primary official results
- Vozzella, Laura (October 29, 2011). "A school board-state Senate election connection". Washington Post. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- Vozzella, Laura (December 8, 2011). "Va. Senate battle produces more million-dollar races". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
- "November 2011 General Election Official Results". virginia.gov. Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- Madsen, Nancy (August 10, 2014). "Sen. George Barker says uncompensated care has fallen 30 percent in states that expanded Medicaid". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
- Madsen, Nancy (December 31, 2014). "And the top-read Virginia Truth-O-Meter from 2014 is... |". PolitiFact Virginia. Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
- Peterson, Tim (March 5, 2012). "2015 General Assembly Session Draws to a Close". Connection Newspapers. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
- "New General Assembly Candidates Updates". www.vpap.org. Virginia Public Access Project. April 2, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
- MacDonald, Gregg (May 1, 2015). "A powder keg looms in Clifton". Fairfax Times. Retrieved 2015-06-02.[permanent dead link]