Democratic Feminist Candidate Defeated in Georgia Primary

As Israel-Palestinian tensions increasingly filter into US politics, US Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) was defeated by a virtual unknown in Georgia’s primary election Tuesday – primarily because of her criticism of pro-Israel policies. McKinney, who has been a champion of women’s issues since her election in 1992, was defeated by former state judge Denise Majette – also an African-American woman who identifies herself as pro-choice. McKinney’s defeat has been attributed to a large Republican crossover as well as an influx of money from Jewish donors and pro-Israel organizations aiming to oust her, according to the Washington Post. Primary elections in Georgia are open, which means that members of one party can vote in the primary of another party. McKinney drew criticism from Republicans as well as her own party when she suggested that President Bush may have known in advance who planned the September 11 terrorist attacks. This and the fact that she has been a critic of Israel caused Jewish donors from across the country to mobilize in support of Majette. McKinney’s financial support came in large part from Muslim or Arab American donors. While considered a liberal, Majette is viewed as a more moderate candidate than McKinney. Meanwhile, US Rep. Robert Barr (R-GA), an incumbent at the opposite end of the political spectrum, was also defeated in the Georgia primary by Rep. John Linder – who was competing against Barr for the same seat because of Congressional redistricting. Barr and Linder have equally conservative voting records, however, Barr garnered national attention as one of the most outspoken members of the House to call for the impeachment of President Clinton.


Washington Post 8/21/02; 8/22/02; Associated Press 8/21/02

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