Tony Barr

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This profile of a DEFEATED 2008 U.S. House candidate for Pennsylvania's district 9 is part of the "Wiki the Vote" project.
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Tony Barr was a Democratic candidate for the 9th Congressional District of Pennsylvania

Tony Barr was a Democratic candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the 9th Congressional District (map) of Pennsylvania. He was seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), having won the primary on April 22, 2008.[1] Barr lost to Shuster in the November general election.[2]


Positions, record and controversies

To learn about Barr's positions in detail see his Web site.


The War in Iraq is not making America safer. Barr supports a prudent but expedient redeployment of America’s troops.


Roughly 1 in 6 Americans have no health insurance. Barr supports a healthcare policy that guarantees working Americans access to affordable healthcare.


Barr supports investments in alternative fuel technologies to loosen the grip of foreign oil on the American economy.

Barr opposes the practice of billion dollar tax giveaways to petro-conglomerates now making record windfall profits.


The Bush Tax cuts reward the wealthy while asking the middle class to pick up the tab. Barr supports a tax plan that rewards the vast majority of hard working people who live in the 9th District.


Barr opposes the policy of bailing out bankers while leaving homeowners out to dry. In the 9th District, we have the opportunity to create jobs by investing in alternative energy, rebuilding our roads and bridges and by lessening the burden of health insurance on small business, Barr supports a plan of action that will create jobs and strengthen the economy.


While opening new markets to American manufacturing can, in theory, benefit our economy. In practice, America’s trading partners must play by the same rules with respect to environmental and human rights concerns as we do, or it's not "Fair trade". NAFTA and CAFTA need to be renegotiated.


Barr was born on March 5, 1969 in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Though growing up in suburban Chicago, his childhood home was surrounded on three sides by forest preserve. Barr took a job at the Pressley Ridge School at Ohiopyle after graduating with his Bachelors in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

At Pressley Ridge, Barr and his group partner worked a five-day/week 24-hour/day shift with 10 adjudicated youths who were there for a variety of crimes, including car theft, de-railing a train, sexual crimes, and assault. While at camp, Barr saw first-hand the connection between reading skill and a pathway out of crime. It was here that Barr realized that though the school had the best intentions in mind, he and his co-teacher/counselors were sticking their fingers into an exploding dam. He realized that there must be a better way to reach these youth. Barr has gone a long way since his days at Pressley, but there is not a day that goes by when he does not think about the lessons that he learned there. It was a tough job, and Barr learned that the best way to deal with problems was to head straight at them and solve them. Sweeping problems under the rug always caused bigger problems later on.[citation needed]

After leaving Pressley, Barr and a college buddy rode their bicycles from Chicago to Skagway, Alaska in the summer of 1993. After the trip, Barr enrolled in graduate school to work on his masters degree in special education. Going back to his days at camp, he knew that teaching reading was key to helping kids. While working on his masters degree, Barr continued to work with at-risk youth in Pittsburgh.[citation needed]

After earning his masters degree in dducation for teaching students with mental and physical disabilities from California University of Pennsylvania, Barr took a job teaching special education at Everett HS in Bedford County. While at Everett, Barr met his future wife, Liz. They were wed in 2001. Their oldest son, Silas, was born in 2002 and their younger son, Zeke, was born in 2004.

2008 elections

Barr is the Democratic nominee to challenge Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) in the 2008 congressional elections. Barr lost to Shuster in the November general election.[2]

Money in politics

Information on this candidate's 2008 fundraising is not yet available. Stay tuned for live feeds of data from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.

Committees and affiliations


Barr will be assigned committees if and when he is elected to Congress.


More background data


Articles and resources

See also


  1. Greg Giroux, "Keystone House Races, Eclipsed in Tuesday’s Primary, Will Emerge This Fall", CQ Politics, April 23, 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Pennsylvania 2008 General Election",, November 4, 2008

External resources

External articles