Accusations Fly in Lt. Governor's Race - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 10/29/07

Accusations Fly in Lt. Governor's Race

by Jon Kalahar
jkalahar@wlbt.net

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse. More accusations fly in the race for lieutenant governor.

In his most recent campaign commercial, Phil Bryant claims Jamie Franks represented drug dealers in his law practice. A second commercial claims Franks raised taxes on the deceased. Franks says both are outright lies, and today he shot back.

"He's got a staffer that's driving him around in Corinth that's arrested for possession in Union County and also has two charges he pled guilty to to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. And Phil Bryant wants to says he the candidate against crime," said Franks. 

It's just the latest drama in the race for the lieutenant governor's office. Bryant's campaign manager Neil Forbes calls this an attack from a desperate candidate.

"Only a desperate candidate would try to attack another candidates staffers. That is the lowest form of politics and quit frankly, I think Mississippi deserves better," said Forbes.

But unlike the governor's race, Bryant and Franks have yet to debate each other face to face. And with a week left, it doesn't look like they will. They have appeared together at least eight time across the state, however. Franks appeared at this luncheon at the Capital Club in downtown Jackson. Bryant was also invited. But a scheduling conflict kept him from attending.

 "I arranged my schedule in such a way that I said I would debate him anywhere, anytime, anyplace, and I will still do that, we've got a week left," said Franks.

"He's trying to accuse us of not debating him when he's turned down different debates we've offered him as well. He's just trying to distract the voters away from the fact that he defends drug dealers," said Forbes.

And with only a few days left to election day, don't look for either candidate to slow down.

Wlbt did confirm the arrest of the Bryant staffer, Sam Henderson through the Union County Sheriff's Office.  The Bryant Campaign says it was just a misunderstanding, and Henderson was acquitted of all charges

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