John is 48 years old and is married to Victoria Pentlarge. They live in Athens and have two children, James and Ruth, who attend Clarke County public schools.
John is a lawyer and Victoria is a veterinarian with an active practice throughout the area that includes Athens, Augusta, and Savannah. John is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Athens, where he has served as a deacon and sings in the choir.
John Barrow's roots in Georgia run deep. John is descended from the Barrow, Lumpkin, Pope, and Church families who have been in this part of Georgia throughout its history. John's family has farmed, taught, preached, and practiced law — from Athens to Savannah — for over 7 generations.
John learned from his parents the importance of serving the community and standing up for what's right. John's father, James Barrow, a decorated World War II veteran, was the Superior Court Judge who helped lead Athens through the turbulent years of the Civil Rights movement. He was the judge who presided over the case resulting in the desegregation of the Clarke County public schools. John's mother, Phyllis Barrow, also served in the armed services during World War II, and has been a tireless community activist all her life. Both were courageous and outspoken leaders in the effort to desegregate the University of Georgia.
John graduated from Clarke Central High School in 1973, the first class to go through after the desegregation of the Clarke County public schools. John's father had a lot to do with the success of integration in those days, but so did the whole community. The lesson was not lost on John.
John graduated from the University of Georgia and then became one of the youngest members of his class at Harvard Law School, which he entered while still only 20 years old. After graduating from law school in 1979, John served as law clerk for two federal judges, Alex Lawrence of Savannah and Judge Tom Clark of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
John is a founding member of the Athens law firm of Winburn, Lewis, Barrow & Stolz, P.C., which has an active practice throughout the state. John has been nominated for appointment to the Georgia Court of Appeals by the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission. He has also been appointed by the Georgia Supreme Court as a charter member of the commission responsible for continuing legal education, and as a member of the body responsible for lawyer discipline.
As a small businessman for over 20 years, John has met a payroll, paid back business loans, and seen firsthand how big a bite taxes and insurance take out of a small business.
John Barrow has served his community in many ways before holding public office. John served as a volunteer for organizations such as the Parkview Playschool, the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation, the Lyndon House Arts Foundation, the Athens Community Council on Aging, and Hospice of Athens.
In 1990, John was elected as a charter member of the second consolidated city-county government in Georgia. Right away, John became a leader in addressing difficult issues, such as the scope and design of the SPLOST-funded civic center project. The controversy had caused deep divisions in the community that were reflected on the new commission. John was the acknowledged leader of the movement to restore the original building program approved by the voters, while saving and incorporating an historic landmark that had been slated for demolition. The result was a success that brought the community together.
John has been elected to four terms on the county commission. That's because he has consistently voted against property tax increases, for economic development, for property tax relief for homeowners, and for innovative programs to improve the quality of life of the people he represents. He'll do the same for us in Washington.