Saturday May 28th, 2016 6:34PM

Name-calling, assault charged in state House race

By The Associated Press
<p>A supporter of a GOP nominee for state representative wants one of his opponents arrested, following a testy run-in on the campaign trail in which each claims the other used the epithets "racist" and a "fat pig."</p><p>The complaint targets Mary Wilhite of Sixes, Ga., who lost the Aug. 8 primary runoff to Sean Jerguson by 35 votes. Wilhite had sought to become the first black woman elected to state office in Georgia as a Republican.</p><p>Lee Martin, a Jerguson supporter, told sheriff's deputies that as he campaigned the day before the runoff, Wilhite followed him around, calling him a "liar," "racist" and "fat pig."</p><p>Martin, who is white, told officers Wilhite also was ripping campaign fliers out of his hands before he could hand them to people in cars stopped at a traffic light.</p><p>Martin applied Friday for an arrest warrant charging Wilhite with assault, interference with a state political campaign and violating his free speech.</p><p>Wilhite calls the charges pure politics.</p><p>"They are meritless, senseless and baseless," she said. "I am confident that they will be dismissed."</p><p>She told deputies Martin was "spreading lies" about her on the fliers he was passing out, but denied taking the fliers from him, according to a sheriff's report.</p><p>She said Martin was the one who called her a "racist" and "fat pig."</p><p>A magistrate court hearing on Friday will determine if there is probable cause for a warrant to be issued for Wilhite's arrest.</p><p>"She needs to be held accountable for this," Martin said. "To prevent anyone else from doing this in Cherokee (County) in the future, this needs to be carried through."</p><p>Wilhite has asked for a re-count in the runoff because of the close finish. The re-count is scheduled for Thursday.</p><p>___</p><p>HASH(0x1cdc288)</p>
  • Associated Categories: State News
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