State rep. jumps into race against Barrow

Georgia state Rep. Delvis Dutton (R) is launching a campaign against Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), giving the GOP another option after the two Republicans already in the race struggled to gain traction.

"I'm humbled by the overwhelming support I've received from across the district," Dutton said in a statement. "I want to take Georgia values and Georgia commonsense to a broken Washington. We need leaders who will put people and principles before politics."

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Dutton, a small-business owner and religious conservative, has met with the National Republican Congressional Committee, and could emerge as a serious contender for Barrow's seat. Barrow represents the second-most Republican congressional district of any Democrat running for reelection — Mitt Romney won by a 12-point margin — but has won race after race despite being a perennial GOP target.

Barrow's current challengers have failed to impress national Republican strategists. Rick Allen (R), who lost a primary to face Barrow in 2012, raised just $78,000 in the last fundraising quarter, and John Stone, the 2010 nominee against Barrow, raised just $67,000, compared to Barrow's $302,000 haul.

Dutton, who hails from the district's more rural southern portion, could be well-positioned to win the primary and give Barrow a tougher challenge than the other two, though his entrance increases the chances that the GOP primary will have to go to a runoff, sapping resources from the eventual nominee.

One national Republican strategist described Dutton as a "fantastic candidate who should keep both Rick Allen and John Barrow up at night."