- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2002

Nearly 35 percent of the Republicans in Georgia's 4th Congressional District are expected to cross over and vote in tomorrow's Democratic primary in an effort to oust Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney.
The Republicans would join a strong Jewish vote in support of Mrs. McKinney's foe, former state judge Denise Majette.
"We've been trying to get out the message that we need them to vote in the [Republican] primary, but everybody so detests McKinney," said Dale Ranta, chairman of the DeKalb County Republican Party. He estimated that more than one-third of his party members will opt to vote in the Democratic primary.
"It is unfortunately more than I care to hear, that 35 percent [figure]," he said.
Three Republican groups in the 4th District have formed to vote out Mrs. McKinney. Even their names portray what has become vehement opposition: "Goodbye Cynthia," "Anybody but McKinney" and "New Leadership for DeKalb."
The Democratic primary winner is almost assured of election in the heavily Democratic district, which is about 50 percent black.
There are approximately 70,000 Republicans in the 4th District, which also includes a small portion of neighboring Gwinnett County. State law permits primary voters to cast ballots for either party.
"We have our own races to vote in," said Mr. Ranta, who sent out a mass e-mail last week to Republican voters urging them to vote on the Republican ticket. "We have three candidates for governor, we have three for lieutenant governor but there are people here who will give up anything on the Republican ticket to get rid of her."
If it occurs, a 35 percent crossover "will be a real phenomenon," said William Boone, a Clark Atlanta University political science professor.
A Majette campaign spokeswoman said that while her candidate is not seeking Republican votes, "it looks like our opponent is doing that for us."
But Dana Mott, a spokeswoman for Mrs. McKinney, said it is "absolutely a Republican effort" to remove the congresswoman.
Mrs. McKinney's outspokenly pro-Palestinian stance has earned her thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Arab-Americans and Muslims including several with suspected ties to terrorist groups prompting Jewish donors to give generously to Mrs. Majette's campaign.
These Arab donors to Mrs. McKinney's campaign "are some bad guys," said David A. Harris, deputy executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. "It is completely legal to take that money, but it would demonstrate poor judgment. I would like to think that it transcends party affiliation."
Since July 1, Mrs. Majette has outraised Mrs. McKinney by 7-to-1.
While the five-term lawmaker has denied accusations that she is anti-Israel, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan who has been accused repeatedly of anti-Semitism visited Atlanta over the weekend to voice support for Mrs. McKinney.
An article in the Nation of Islam's weekly newspaper, Final Call, notes that Mrs. McKinney is being assisted in her volunteer coordination by Steve Cokely.
Mr. Cokely gained notoriety in the late 1980s when he said that Jewish doctors had injected black babies with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson has also visited the district to give his backing to Mrs. McKinney.
Most polls show the race too close to call. But an ongoing Internet poll by local CBS affiliate WSB-TV gives Mrs. Majette a lead of 63 percent to 37 percent.
Racial authenticity has crept into the campaign rhetoric recently, with one McKinney campaign ad claiming that Mrs. Majette, who is also black, "sold us out." Another McKinney ad compared Mrs. Majette to a white police officer who punched a handcuffed black teen.
Mrs. McKinney is at risk of becoming the second black incumbent Democrat to be voted from office in a primary race with Middle East politics as a backdrop. Alabama Rep. Earl Hilliard lost in June to challenger Artur Davis, who benefited from pro-Israel donors.

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