Former congressman joins campaign

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 27, 2000

Current and former congressmen took a few shots at incumbentRep. Ronnie Shows while Republican challenger Dunn Lampton toutedthe potential importance of the district vote in determining howthe state would go in a close presidential election.

House Majority Whip Tom DeLay of Texas was the featuredattraction Thursday night during a fund-raiser at Mike and RosemaryParker’s home. Due to a pending congressional vote, DeLay wasunable to attend the fund-raiser and addressed Lampton supportersvia a speaker phone.

DeLay echoed Lampton campaign contentions that Shows actsconservative in Mississippi but votes with the liberals inWashington.

“That’s what we’re trying to stop all across the south,” DeLaysaid.

DeLay went on to say this year’s election is the most importantone since the Civil War.

He said the outcome will decide whether the country continuesdown a path of failed policies or moves toward conservative valuesthat Southerners hold dear.

DeLay hailed a return to the days of American values such asbelief in God, the sanctity of life and a sense of right and wrong.He called those the foundation of American government.

Parker, whom Shows succeeded as Fourth District Representative,had the harshest words for the incumbent regarding his days as astate transportation commissioner.

When Shows was commissioner, Parker said there was an”intriguing dynamic” in the state. He said Shows would partner withNorthern District Commissioner Zack Stewart and federal funds sentto the state for projects would wind up in the north.

“It got so bad we had to just quit sending money,” Parker said,adding that funding had to line-itemed for specific projects inspecific counties. “That was the only way we were able to designatemoney in the Southern District.”

DeLay and Parker also criticized Shows for his association withRep. Dick Gephardt, who stands to be Speaker of the House shouldDemocrats regain control. Parker said Shows had professed apro-life stance, but he questioned his effectiveness when he issupporting people like Gephardt, Al Gore and Bill Clinton.

“You can’t really believe in pro-life if you’re supporting thosepeople,” Parker said.

Parker said that early on, Gephardt introduced a bill tooverturn Roe V. Wade. However, realizing he could not progress inthe Democratic party without being liberal, Gephardt changed hisstance, Parker said.

“I like him. He’s friend of mine. I wouldn’t vote for him foranything,” Parker said of Gephardt.

During his brief address, Lampton stressed the importance ofthis year’s election. With the presidential race too close to calland the possibility of it being decided by the House ofRepresentatives, Lampton said the Fourth District could be key inthe direction of the state’s five votes.

“I believe this congressional district will decided how thestate will go,” Lampton said.

Of the state’s five districts, three are held by Democrats andtwo by Republicans. If Bush carries the state, Lampton said hewould vote for Bush, but he questioned whether Shows would do thesame.

“When I ride down the road, I see Shows and Gore signstogether,” Lampton said.