Roy E. Barnes

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Roy E. Barnes
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Governor of Georgia
Former officeholder
In office
1998 – 2002
Date of birthMarch 11, 1948
Place of birthMableton, Georgia
Roy E. Barnes (b. March 11, 1948 Mableton, GA) was the 2010 Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia. He previously served in that position from 1998-2002 and sought a second term, losing to Republican Nathan Deal.
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Raised in Mabelton, Roy Barnes spent much of his childhood around his family's general store. In college, Barnes joined the University of Georgia's debate team and spent summers working at the family store. In 1969, he earned a Bachelor's degree in history.

Barnes earned his J.D. from the University of Georgia Law School, where he was elected president of the student body. Upon graduation, he moved back to Cobb County and joined the District Attorney's office. He has served as a partner in the Law Firm of Barnes, Browning, Tanksley, and Casurella since 1975.[1]

First elected to the Georgia State Senate in 1974, he was at the time the youngest member ever elected. Barnes went on to serve eight terms for his home district.

At the end of his eighth term, Barnes declared his candidacy for governor of Georgia in 1990. Ultimately, he lost the Democratic primary to Zell Miller. Two years later, Barnes ran for the Georgia House of Representatives and went on to serve from 1993 to 1998.

During his time in the Senate, he served on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Appropriations, Rules, and Transportation committee. During his tenure, Georgia rewrote her state's Constitution and Barnes chaired the Select Committee on Constitutional Revision. In the House, he was named to the Judiciary Committee and the Rules and Banking Committee.

Barnes again ran for governor in 1998 and won in an election that swept Democrats into power across the state. A remarkably powerful governor, he gained the nickname "King Roy," which is an affectionate sobriquet or an accurate insult depending on who's being asked. In 2002, he lost his re-election bid; Georgia's midterms that year were generally favorable to Republicans and some analysts suggest Barnes did himself no favors by supporting efforts to minimize use of the Confederate flag around the state.

Barnes spent six months after leaving office handling pro bono work for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc. and then founded his own private firm. The Barnes Law Group includes his daughter Alison, her son John, and his long-time partner Charles Tanksley.

In June of 2009, he returned to his home town to announce his third bid for Georgia's governorship.


  • University of Georgia, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Georgia, B.A., 1969
  • South Cobb High School



See also: Georgia gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010

Barnes faced six opponents in the July 20 Democratic primary, winning with 65.8% of the vote.

Barnes faced Republican Nathan Deal and Libertarian John H. Monds in the general election on November 2, 2010. Deal won the election.[2]


He married Marie Dobbs in 1970. They have three children and six grandchildren.

See also

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The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine was used to recall this version of the website from April 14, 2013.


Political offices
Preceded by
Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by