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franklin county times

Political mine field for congressional candidates

By By William F. West / community editor
Aug. 1, 2002
The land on which Chip Pickering and Ronnie Shows are walking could be a political mine field.
Mississippi's new 3rd Congressional District includes black voters and predominately white suburban voters, as well as areas that were hotbeds of violent white resistance to the civil rights movement.
There have been no signs so far that race will surface as an issue in the contest.
McElvaine said Pickering also does not want to fuel further arguments resulting from the Senate Judiciary Committee's decision earlier this year not to promote his father, Charles, from a U.S. District Court judgeship to a place on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Some national newspapers, including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, editorially opposed Bush's nomination of Charles Pickering to the 5th Circuit because his views were not seen as mainstream. And unfounded claims circulated that the judge was a racist.
The judge, under advice from the White House, has been careful not to give statements to the press, but he did later relent once to say that the attacks hurt him personally.
McElvaine said the younger Pickering would also not want to make any statement that somebody could latch onto and say, "Well, see, they were right all along about the family."
But McElvaine said that "clearly" a good deal of negative campaigning will be going on in the Pickering-Shows contest.

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