Pickering confident in primary despite allegations

Pickering confident in primary despite allegations

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Incumbent State Auditor Stacey Pickering said he was not worried about recent allegations against him affecting his race in the Republican primary Tuesday.

Pickering, who was elected to the state auditor's office in 2007, said his office has fought public corruption and effectively served the taxpayers of Mississippi.

Pickering's campaign came under fire in recent weeks after a former staffer told the Clarion-Ledger Pickering was misusing campaign funds for personal use. The newspaper reported several sources said he was under investigation by the FBI, but Pickering said he had no conversations with the agency about an alleged investigation.

But Pickering said he is not worried about the allegations made against him.

"This campaign has been about qualifications from the beginning and that is what Mississippi voters look at," Pickering said.  "(It's about) what the qualifications are, what our record is, how much we recovered on behalf of the taxpayers (and) the number of people we put in jail for fraud and for corruption."

Pickering also said he thinks this is a record that Mississippi can be proud of.

"We've maintained that message, we've stayed focus on that task," Pickering said. "And that's what we are going to do all the way through the fall. That's what Mississippi is concerned about: getting the job done."

Pickering faces Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler in Tuesday's primary. The winner will face Democrat Joce Pritchett and Reform Party candidate Lajena Walley in the general election in November.

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