ATLANTA - Cathy Cox's campaign press secretary is facing a slander lawsuit over comments attributed to him by the Savannah Morning News that attack the credibility of a Mark Taylor supporter.
The Cox campaign on Thursday refused to address the allegations in the lawsuit and proceeded to step up its assault on Mr. Taylor, claiming that he and his family benefited financially from his service as lieutenant governor.
The suit and allegations represent an escalation in the series of charges and countercharges between the two officeholders sparring for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Ben Cawthon, a former Blakely city councilman, met with reporters in the offices of Taylor attorney Lee Parks to announce the legal action. He's suing Peter Jackson, the 23-year-old press secretary to Ms. Cox's campaign.
The Savannah Morning News quoted Mr. Jackson on Saturday as saying Mr. Cawthon had "no credibility." Mr. Jackson made the comments when reporter Larry Peterson asked about Mr. Cawthon's statements that he recalled Ms. Cox saying in 1992 that she had voted against the public referendum establishing a lottery to fund the HOPE Scholarship and pre-kindergarten programs.
Mr. Jackson was quoted about Mr. Cawthon: "He's expected to be indicted on lying to authorities and obstruction of justice. He was in jail in Early County last week."
The Early County sheriff has said Mr. Cawthon wasn't arrested or indicted.