- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Rep. John Linder won endorsements from two fellow Georgia Republican House members yesterday, and Rep. Bob Barr immediately challenged the authenticity of one of those endorsements.
Voters will decide the survivor today in an acrimonious contest between Mr. Barr and Mr. Linder for their party's nomination in the redrawn 7th District.
Reps. Mac Collins and Jack Kingston said in a joint statement yesterday, "We are endorsing John Linder as the best, most truthful, person to represent the 7th District."
They said Mr. Barr was falsely accusing Mr. Linder "of supporting the gay agenda, being soft on gun issues, abortion and other things important to conservatives."
Mr. Barr, however, said Mr. Kingston had not endorsed Mr. Linder.
"Kingston told me he did not endorse John," Mr. Barr told The Washington Times late yesterday. He said he was on the phone with Mr. Kingston about an hour after Mr. Kingston and Mr. Linder had talked.
"Kingston told me Linder had complained to him about my distorting his voting record," Mr. Barr said, adding that Mr. Kingston was sympathetic and indicated he would side with Mr. Linder on the matter of his voting record but would not endorse him.
Mr. Kingston could not be reached for comment late yesterday, but Linder campaign manager Bo Harman said, "We talked with Kingston office again within the last two hours [about 5 p.m. yesterday], and they said the endorsement stands."
"Bob Barr has accused John Linder of supporting the gay agenda, being soft on gun issues, abortion and other things important to conservatives," Mr. Kingston and Mr. Collins said in their joint statement. "We are here to tell you these things are absolutely untrue. John Linder is one of the most conservative members of Congress and has never done anything to endorse the homosexual agenda and has been a constant champion of both gun rights and the pro-life movement."
Barr aides said Mr. Linder sought and received endorsements from the two members of the Georgia delegation on the eve of the election because Mr. Linder had panicked over an independent poll that showed Mr. Barr leading by 3 percentage points.
But Mr. Harman said the endorsements were sought to help put the record straight about Mr. Linder's conservative, pro-family voting record, because the Barr campaign had been using radio ads and direct mail to voters in the district to "lie" about Mr. Linder's record.
Mr. Barr has been endorsed by an array of national conservative leaders.
"Bill Clinton is trying to finish me off once and for all please help me!" Mr. Barr said in a recent mailing to voters in which he reminded them that he was one of the House impeachment managers.


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