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Shows truth tour' stops in Meridian

By By William F. West / community editor
Oct. 29, 2002
U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows said Monday he is so upset his record has been distorted that he burned a political pamphlet he claimed was backed by supporters of his chief opponent in next week's election.
Shows used a lighter to burn the pamphlet at a news conference outside the Lauderdale County Courthouse. That and similar pamphlets talk about his positions on health care for senior citizens and other issues.
Shows' wife, Johnnie Ruth, said after the news conference that she has never encountered such hostility from the other side in all the years she has assisted her husband with his campaigns.
The campaign pamphlets were distributed through the mail and paid for by Republican congressional or state organizations. State GOP Chairman Jim Herring could not be reached for comment.
Pickering was campaigning Monday in the Jackson area and unavailable for comment. Pickering spokesman Quinton Dickerson said in a prepared statement the facts speak for themselves.
Dickerson also slammed Johnnie Ruth Shows for her comments, saying that "I think questioning Chip Pickering's Christianity is way out of bounds."
Shows' stop in Meridian was part a "truth tour" of East Mississippi. Shows said Republicans have tried to portray him as against affordable health care and prescription drugs for seniors.
Dickerson said that Pickering voted for Medicare funding, a prescription drug benefit for seniors and lawsuit reform legislation all of which were opposed by Shows.
Shows, who campaigned at Wal-Mart SuperCenter and met with residents at Aldersgate Retirement Community, said he refused to go along with the Republican legislation because it favored insurance and pharmaceutical giants.
The race: Republican Chip Pickering and Democrat Ronnie Shows are the top candidates in the race to fill the newly redrawn 3rd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House.
The balance: The winner could help decide which party controls the U.S. House; the U.S. House currently has 223 Republicans, 210 Democrats and one independent.
The election: Mississippi voters will choose a new 3rd District congressman in the Nov. 5 general election; the winner gets a job that pays $150,000 a year.