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Georgia Governor: The Candidates

Roy Barnes (D) | Guy Millner (R)

Primary Contenders:
Michael Bowers | Lewis Massey
David Poythress | Steve Langford | Nancy Schaefer

Roy Barnes (D)
With 49 percent of the primary vote, Barnes come close to winning the nomination outright with a majority of votes. Instead of facing an Aug. 11 runoff with Lewis Massey, Massey decided to drop out of the contest and throw his support to Banes. Barnes served in the state Senate from 1975 to 1991 and won election to the state House in 1992. He leads Democratic fund-raising in part because he gave his campaign $1.8 million of his own money this year. He also received the endorsement of the state's largest newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Campaign Web site

Guy Millner (R)
Millner survived a recount to win the nomination with just more than 50 percent of the vote.

Founder of the Norrell Corp. staffing service and a self-made millionaire, Millner was the 1994 Republican gubernatorial nominee. He was also the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 1996, and lost a close, bruising race to freshman Sen. Max Cleland (D). Taking a cue from the 1997 Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races, Millner has pledged to eliminate the state car tax and to cut property taxes by 20 percent.
Campaign Web site

Primary Contenders
Lewis Massey (D)
Massey had 28 percent of the primary vote, which earned him a spot in an Aug. 11 runoff with Roy Barnes. But two days after the primary, Massey bowed out of the race to prevent a divisive contest. Gov. Zell Miller appointed Massey secretary of state in January 1996. Massey won election that November to serve out the remaining two years of the term.

David Poythress (D)
Poythress finished third in the primary with 13 percent of the vote. First elected labor commissioner in 1992, Poythress won reelection in 1996. During his time in office he has fought for states to gain control of the unemployment insurance system. A brigadier general in the Air Force Reserve, Poythress serves as chairman of the U.S. delegation to NATO on reserve military legal matters.

Steve Langford (D)
A three-term state senator, Langford was first elected in 1992, and finished fourth in the primary with 7 percent of the vote. He also serves chairman of the state Senate's Insurance and Labor Committee and fought pollution on the Chattahoochee River by forcing Atlanta to pay for cleanup.

Michael Bowers (R)
The first Republican to enter the contest, Bowers came in second in the GOP primary with 40 percent of the vote.

Bowers, the former attorney general who switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party in 1994, stepped down from his post – a job he had held for 16 years – to run full time. As Georgia's highest law enforcement officer, Bowers, a West Point graduate, successfully defended the state's sodomy law before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986. But his gubernatorial bid hit turbulence in June 1997 when he publicly admitted he had had a long extramarital affair with an office staff member. The campaign hit another snag in April when Bowers's mistress told George magazine that he had been giving her money on a regular basis. Nonetheless, even after Bowers came forward, the Christian groups Family Watch, Citizens for Children and Christian Republicans endorsed him. So did the state's largest newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Nancy Schaefer (R)
Entering the race after GOP front-runner Michael Bowers admitted to an adulterous affair, Schaefer came finished third in the Republican primary with 8 percent of the vote. She is founder of Family Concerns Inc.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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