Former Georgia congressional candidate-turned-blogger Martha Zoller is walking back her scoop that the National Republican Congressional Committee plans to spend $6 million to defeat Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., next year.
That would be a major commitment from the committee, which spent about $1.5 million in a failed attempt to oust Barrow last year. The NRCC pushed back against the report, saying they don't make decision about dollar amounts this far out from an election.
In a blog post yesterday afternoon Zoller cited an anonymous, former NRCC staffer who said, "We are putting $6M into this race for 2014."
Now, Zoller says, that the staffer she spoke to "did not say specifically" that he was talking about the NRCC. Rather, he was discussing spending by Republican groups in general, citing the combined amount they spent in Georgia's 12th District in 2012. Zoller has since amended the post.
Make no mistake: Barrow's at the top of the NRCC's list of vulnerable districts this cycle and with fewer battlegrounds, the committee could well pass $1.5 million in spending there this year.
Meanwhile, the party is still searching for a viable candidate to take on Barrow. 2008 candidate John Stone has already declared a bid, but given his poor performance last time around (he lost to Barrow by 30 points), he hasn't gained much traction. Attorney Wright McLeod and state Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, both of whom had talked with the NRCC about potential bids, have taken a pass within the last few days.
That leaves Rick Allen and Lee Anderson, who faced each other in a tight runoff election last year, on the list of potential contenders. Allen has discussed his plans with the NRCC and McLeod said that he expects Allen to get into the race this week. Allen's campaign committee filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, but an adviser declined to comment on whether he'll run for the seat again. Anderson, who ran a disappointing seven points behind Barrow in 2012, is still undecided, McLeod said.