Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes will keep some $5,000 in campaign contributions from Bishop Eddie Long, despite pending lawsuits against the Bishop accusing him of coercing male members of his congregation into sexual relationships, according to WSB-TV.
Barnes spoke to WSB reporter Lori Geary regarding the donations.
“The allegations are troubling, but there’s not been one deposition taken,” Barnes told Geary. “Let’s let the legal process work.”
Long addressed the accusations during a short sermon Sunday and also reminded his congregation that it was election season. “It’s election time in Georgia,” Long said Sunday. “We cannot be distracted and not go to the polls.”
Barnes and Long were scheduled to host a fundraiser together last week, but an agreement to cancel the event was reached by both parties. Barnes was unavailable for comment and a request for comment with his press office has gone un-returned.
The report also highlights other candidates and elected officials who received political donations from Long, including Michael Thurmound, Thurbert Baker, Max Cleland and Maxine Waters.
Barnes also said that because the lawsuits were accusations at this point, his campaign would accept future donations from Long.
Michael Thurmond, the state’s Labor Commissioner, is running against current Senator Johnny Isakson for one of Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats. We called Thurmond’s office and left a message but also received no comment.