MILLIONAIRE businessmen in Georgia and Colorado won races Tuesday to pick Republican challengers to Democratic governors in Georgia and Colorado.
In Georgia's Republican primary, millionaire Guy Millner defeated John Knox, making Mr. Millner the state GOP's standard-bearer against Democratic incumbent Zell Miller in November's general election. Millner received 58 percent of the vote to Mr. Knox's 42 percent with 99 percent of the state's precincts reporting, according to local television. The contest played heavily on themes like abortion, Christian values, and Southern heritage.
In Colorado's GOP primary, millionaire oilman Bruce Benson claimed victory in a three-way race for the right to take on Democratic Gov. Roy Romer. With 73 percent of the precincts counted, he was leading with 61 percent of the vote against 23 percent for state Sen. Mike Bird and 16 percent for Dick Sargent, a two-time candidate for state treasurer.
South Carolinians back rebel flag
UNDETERRED by the threat of an economic boycott, South Carolina Republicans voted solidly to keep the Confederate flag flying over the Statehouse.
South Carolina's GOP gubernatorial hopefuls were forced into a runoff when neither got more than half the vote.
The nonbinding flag referendum topped the GOP primary ballot in South Carolina, the last state to fly the rebel banner atop its capitol. Republicans, who put the question on the ballot to increase interest in their primary, voted to keep the flag aloft by 76 percent to 24 percent.
In other voting, former state Rep. David Beasley and retiring Rep. Arthur Ravenel were headed for an Aug. 23 runoff for the GOP gubernatorial nomination to succeed retiring Republican Gov. Carroll Campbell, who is barred from seeking a third consecutive term. Mr. Beasley got 48 percent of the vote, with strong support from the conservative Christian Coalition, to 32 percent for Mr. Ravenel.
On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Nick Theodore led his closest rival, Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley Jr., by 50 percent to 38 percent in a four-way field. The race remained too close to call early yesterday with 97 percent of precincts reporting.
In the Confederate battle flag dispute, civil rights groups threaten an economic boycott of the state unless the banner comes down by Labor Day. It has flown atop the Statehouse in Columbia since 1962.
Supporters say the flag honors Southern heritage but many blacks and others believe it is an offensive reminder of slavery.