District History

The geographic area for Georgia’s 11th Congressional District has a storied history, and has been represented by Congressmen of historic distinction. The congressional maps are redrawn every ten years following a census, and the population of Georgia was not large enough for 11 congressional districts or more until 1993. The current district composes much of the area in which General Sherman made his march to Atlanta where he burned the city during “the War Between the States.” Between 1975 and 1983, the area was largely represented by staunch Christian and conservative Democrat Congressman Larry McDonald, who proved himself as a strong ally to President Ronald Reagan in his his push to cut taxes, reduce the size of the federal government, and stand against Soviet Russia in the Cold War.

The American Conservative Union gave Congressman McDonald a perfect score of 100 every year he was in the House of Representatives, except in 1978, when he scored a 95. He also scored “perfect or near perfect ratings” on the congressional scorecards of the National Right to Life Committee, Gun Owners of America, and the American Security Council. McDonald was referred to by The New American as “the leading anti-Communist in Congress”. An admirer of Austrian economics and a member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, he was an advocate of tight monetary policy in the late 1970s to get the economy out of stagflation, and advocated returning to the gold standard.

In 1983 Congressman McDonald was murdered along with the rest of the passengers on the mysterious Korean Flight 007 when Soviet interceptors shot down the passenger airliner near Moneron Island after the plane entered Soviet airspace. On March 18, 1998, the Georgia House of Representatives, “as an expression of gratitude for his able service to his country and defense of the US Constitution”, passed a resolution naming the portion of Interstate 75, which runs through much of the current Congressional District 11 from the Chattahoochee River northward to the Tennessee state line in his honor, the Larry McDonald Memorial Highway.

In 1986 Dr. Joe Morecraft, who was a close friend to Larry McDonald and who preached the sermon at his funeral, won the Republican nomination and the endorsement of President Ronald Reagan. That mid-term election saw Republicans make great strides in converting conservatives in the district from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party, but ultimately proved unsuccessful as Republicans failed to rally behind their nominee. Even so President Reagan managed to succeed in negotiating landmark nuclear treaties with the Soviet Union that completely thawed the Cold War.

Finally in 1993 the geographic area of northwest Georgia flipped Republican with the election of Congressman Bob Barr. Congressman Barr supported Speaker Newt Gingrich‘s “Contract with America” and was a part of the conservative effort to balance the federal budget in the late 1990s. Congressman Barr also earned distinction for serving as one of the leaders of the impeachment effort against President Bill Clinton when he committed perjury during the Monica Lewinsky scandal investigation.

In 2003 Democrats in the state house had made a last desperate effort before the state legislature flipped Republican for the first time since the War Between the States. They redrew the congressional maps to cut Congressman Barr out of his district. But in 2014 Bob Barr made it into a run-off with State Senator Barry Loudermilk for the Republican nomination in the newly redrawn 11th Congressional District of Georgia.