CNN/TIME AllPolitics Vote '96

Ga. 04: Democrat McKinney Hangs On In Newly Drawn District

(AllPolitics, Nov. 6) -- Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney managed to extend her appeal broadly enough in Georgia's newly drawn 4th District to defeat Republican lawyer John Mitnick for a third term.

McKinney, an African-American who surprised pundits by defeating three white men in the Democratic primary, tried to link Mitnick to the unpopular House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia. She also emphasized her support for a minimum wage increase.

Mitnock, who is Jewish and a relative moderate among Georgia Republicans, attempted to link McKinney to controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. McKinney said she refused to condemn a speech of Farrakhan's perceived by many as anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic because of free speech concerns.

McKinney was considered most at risk of losing her seat by the Georgia redistricting mandated by the Supreme Court, which threw out her former oddly shaped 11th District as unconstitutional. Her old district was 64 percent African-American, while the new 4th District is about one-third black. The new district, centered in Atlanta suburbs, is one of the South's most demographically diverse districts, also including Jewish, Asian and Hispanic voters.

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