In the days following my vote against Judge Ronnie White's nomination for the federal bench, my motives have been impugned in the media, by the White House and by voices in my home state of Missouri ["Senate Rejects Judicial Nominee," front page, Oct. 6]. A few people have exploited the charges against me in an attempt to create divisions by invoking hatred and bigotry. The truth is that my vote involved no such negative elements.

First, I never told Judge White nor anyone else how I would vote on his nomination.

Second, my decision and my vote were mine alone.

Finally, my decision and my vote were based solely on Judge White's record and fitness for the position.

When it became clear that Judge White's nomination would come to a vote, I sought the views of parties on all sides of the issue. My staff spoke with Missouri leaders from the NAACP and other groups. I consulted with many people in Missouri's legal and law-enforcement communities.

After careful consideration, I determined that Judge White was not the appropriate candidate to serve in a lifetime capacity as a U.S. district judge for eastern Missouri.

In spite of attempts to sully my reputation with baseless denunciations, I remain certain that my decision was the right one. And in spite of those who have tried to use my decision to tarnish my character and encourage division, I will continue to work for all Missourians, because that decision also is the right one.

CHRISTOPHER S. BOND

U.S. Senator (R-Mo.)

Washington