- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2006

ATLANTA (AP) — Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, known for her conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks and a scuffle with a U.S. Capitol Police officer, conceded the Democratic primary runoff early yesterday in a speech that criticized President Bush and blamed the press for her loss.

Mrs. McKinney, the state’s first black congresswoman, said electronic voting machines are “a threat to our democracy” and lashed out at journalists, accusing them of injuring her mother and failing to “tell the whole story.”

“My mother was hurt by someone in the press in this room tonight,” Mrs. McKinney said after losing to challenger Hank Johnson in Tuesday’s primary. “One of my assistants needs stitches because of the press that are in this room tonight.”

WXIA-TV, 11Alive, said on its Web site that a boom microphone had struck members of Mrs. McKinney’s entourage, noting, “In the confusion, McKinney staffers struck an 11Alive photographer and knocked his camera equipment to the ground.”

Mr. Johnson defeated Mrs. McKinney by more than 12,000 votes, getting 59 percent of the vote to 41 percent for Mrs. McKinney. The former DeKalb County commissioner is now the general-election favorite in the predominantly Democratic district east of Atlanta.

He will face Republican Catherine Davis, a human-resources manager who ran against Mrs. McKinney in 2004.

“The people in District 4 were looking for a change,” Mr. Johnson said. “And what happened indicated it was time for a change.”

In her concession speech, Mrs. McKinney repeated her criticism of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq and said electronic voting machines, which have been used in all of Georgia’s precincts since 2002, “are a threat to our democracy.”

“Let the word go out. We aren’t going to tolerate any more stolen elections. … We want our party back,” she said.

Another congressional incumbent also lost his re-election bid Tuesday.

In Michigan, moderate Republican Rep. Joe Schwarz lost to Tim Walberg, a former state lawmaker. The race drew more than $1 million from outside groups. Mr. Schwarz had received support from President Bush and Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

The first-term congressman accused outside groups of trying to buy a seat in Congress by helping Mr. Walberg pay for TV ads. He said the primary was “probably a victory for right-to-life, anti-abortion, anti-embryonic-stem-cell groups, but it’s a net loss for the Republican Party because it just pushes the party farther to the right.”

In Missouri, Republican Sen. Jim Talent and Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill, the state auditor, won their party’s primaries.

In Colorado, state Sen. Doug Lamborn beat five other Republican candidates to win the nomination to succeed 10-term Republican Rep. Joel Hefley. He will face Democratic Air Force veteran Jay Fawcett in the fall. In another race, lawyer Ed Perlmutter won the Democratic nomination to replace Rep. Bob Beauprez, the Republican nominee for governor. Mr. Perlmutter will compete against Republican Rick O’Donnell in November.

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