Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes has come out swinging against Kyle Williams, the openly gay candidate in a heated race with Elena Parent to fill Sen. Jason Carter’s District 42 seat.

Barnes voices a robocall that slams Williams for a mailer his campaign sent out alleging that as a state representative in 2011, Parent supported Governor Nathan Deal’s plan to slash the HOPE scholarship.

“Shame on her opponent,” Barnes says in the call.

The AJC notes that Politifact looked into the issue and has declared Williams’ charge “false.”

“Parent voted for an early version of the bill that was the result of some negotiations led by House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, but voted against the final version,” the AJC’s Political Insider says.

In the robocall, Barnes says Parent “led the fight to preserve the HOPE scholarship” and asks listeners to “join [him] in rejecting these Karl Rove-style dirty tricks.” That’s a timely jab considering the news this week that Rove made comments suggesting that Hillary Clinton might have brain damage.

Williams’ campaign manager Beth Cope pointed the AJC to an email from the former governor from 2011, suggesting Barnes didn’t always feel the same way about the HOPE scholarship.

The Democratic primary is entering its final days with election day scheduled for May 20. Whoever wins will face Republican Greg Williams in November. If elected, Kyle Williams would become the first openly gay person elected to the Georgia state Senate.

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