One of the newest residents of west Augusta is 12th District Congressman John Barrow.
Barrow, a target of Republicans who have twice drawn his house out of his congressional district, officially relocated last month to Augusta, he said Thursday.
“The main advantage is I can live with the people I represent,” said Barrow, who spent the morning with the Georgia Red Carpet Tour at Augusta National Golf Club.
According to real estate records, Barrow paid $234,400 for a house in the 3200 block of Wheeler Road on March 15, the same day he sold his house in Savannah for $260,000.
It’s another change for the congressman, who moved to Savannah in 2006 after his Athens home was dropped from the 12th District before Barrow’s first re-election campaign. Last year, Republicans pulled the 12th out of Savannah and added more of Richmond and Columbia counties.
But Barrow, whose ex-wife and children live in Athens, said the move was “a sort of homecoming” to an area where his ancestors first arrived in Georgia.
“If you go back far enough, my people came through Augusta,” he said.
Barrow said he’s spent previous Masters Weeks in Augusta with his brother and sister-in-law, who live here.
He says the frequent comparisons to President Obama – to whom he is linked in a Masters Week attack ad airing for a week on Augusta television during the tournament – are “stretching the truth just a little bit.”
Barrow voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as “Obamacare,” while he supports other Obama initiatives such as federal nuclear energy loan guarantees.
“I’ve taken my licks from extremists on the left and right,” Barrow said. “The last thing voters want is somebody that’s going to vote the party line.”
Asked if he agreed with Obama’s Thursday statement that Augusta National should allow women members, Barrow said the president could weigh in on the topic if he were a member of the private club.
“When he’s a member, he’ll be allowed to vote for that policy,” Barrow said. He added, “Time will take care of that, as it’s taken care of most things.”
Barrow praised Augusta National as “a cathedral” where one can “watch those who are the best in the world at whatever they do.”
In November, Barrow will face one of four Republican contenders seeking the nomination to run against him. They include three from the Augusta area – Rick Allen, Wright McLeod and state Rep. Lee Anderson – along with Maria Sheffield, of Dublin.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.