Shows: Election an affirmation of issues most people care about

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2000

AP and staff reports

Ronnie Shows is ready to return to Washington. The incumbent Congressman, who survived a tough race against Republican Dunn Lampton for the 4th District House of Representatives seat, said Wednesday he views his election as an affirmation of interpretation of the issues people care most about, including Social Security and prescription medication costs.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Shows won 58 percent of the vote to Lampton’s 40 percent. Shows had 109,144 votes, while Lampton had 74,177 votes.

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In Adams County’s unofficial returns, Shows received 8,716 votes, or 62 percent of the vote, compared to Republican Dunn Lampton, who received 5,198 votes and 37 percent.

Lampton, a district attorney from McComb, had focused on Shows’ associations with supporters who had faced drug charges. One ad claimed Shows took an illegal campaign contribution from a man convicted of multiple drug-related offenses.

Lampton said his campaign was aggressive. Shows, who won 14 of the district’s 15 counties, said he thought it turned off voters.

&uot;They’re the same issues we ran during the ’98 campaign and we’ve carried it through to now,&uot; he said. &uot;Congress hasn’t tended to business.&uot;

That tending to business, according to Shows, requires an end to partisan politics — admittedly difficult as the country waits for the results of a presidential election now split by the narrowest of margins.

&uot;It sends a message to leadership that they didn’t get a mandate,&uot; Shows said. &uot;Maybe it will bring more … reality to the leadership … a message of ‘let’s focus on the issue.’&uot;

Now, Shows said, &uot;we’re going to see what kind of leadership we have up there … if there’s enough moderate Republicans and Democrats up there to get this thing done.&uot;

U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois had convinced Lampton to run and campaigned for him, as did Arizona Sen. John McCain.

”A lot of big name Republicans spent their name and energy in the 4th District. They just fell flat on their face,” said Jon Levingston, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party.

Mike Retzer, chairman of the state Republican Party, said Lampton was a strong candidate who couldn’t overcome Shows’ incumbency.

”My guess is he could very well have another race in him,” Retzer said of Lampton.