My AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon says the GOP primary race for the 4th Congressional District is starting to get a little nasty. He sends this report:
In an interview this week, businessman Greg Pallen pointed to a 16-year-old Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed by his opponent, Chris Vaughn.
“How does he expect the American people to put him in office and manage the financial and fiscal issues that he is going to need to manage when he can’t even manage his own fiscal and financial responsibilities?” said Pallen, 43, a businessman from Oxford.
Vaughn said his family has since “rebuilt our life and rebuilt our credit.”
“We took a couple of major hits – and a very hard season in our life,” he said. “We had a family member who was very sick and [we] made some changes to help them and never could catch up.”
Meanwhile, Pallen complained about a postcard that Vaughn’s campaign has been distributing. The card aimed at GOP primary voters declares that Vaughn is “the only Republican candidate.”
“It’s marketing — and ‘Coke is the real thing,’” said Vaughn, 46, a church pastor from Rockdale. “I believe I am the only Republican that can cross over in a general election and hopefully win a district that most people would consider would be biblical for a Republican to win.”
By “biblical,” we’re supposing Vaughn means that a miracle along the lines of loaves and fishes would be required for a Republican to carry a Democrat-heavy congressional district anchored by DeKalb County. To continue:
Vaughn added Pallen’s “core support is not Republican.” Pallen called the postcard “mudslinging.”
“I have been a Republican all my life,” Pallen said. “And I am running as a Republican. So to say that he is the only Republican candidate is a lie. All that does is create confusion.”
Pallen attempted to turn the tables on Vaughn, pointing to his political background. “He is accusing me of being a Libertarian, but he actually ran as a Libertarian,” Pallen said. “[He] stated that he was the Libertarian candidate against an incumbent Republican. And I have that on video.”
Vaughn confirmed for the AJC that he once appeared on a ballot in North Carolina as a Libertarian candidate, to protest the actions of an incumbent county commissioner. Vaughn, who worked for a radio station then, said he didn’t actively campaign.
“When you are in your 20s, you do things,” Vaughn said. “It was just a protest for radio to make a point that some of the values that were being expressed were not being held to.”
Whoever prevails in the GOP primary will face the winner of a three-way race in the Fourth District’s Democratic primary. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson is attempting to fend off challenges from Courtney Dillard, 49, a Christian minister and real estate developer from Conyers, and Lincoln Nunnally, 32, a consultant from Newtown.
Johnson defeated then-U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney in a 2006 Democratic primary runoff to capture her seat. In May, McKinney filed papers to run for her old seat this year under the Green Party banner.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider