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Statewide candidates to make last Gwinnett stop

One of the last stops on Republican minds before the Tuesday runoff is Lawrenceville.

The GOP candidates for Secretary of State - Karen Handel and Bill Stephens - and for agriculture commissioner - Gary Black and Bryan Kemp - will make appearances at the local party's monthly breakfast Saturday.

"That'll be the only time you get those four in a room before the runoff," party Chairman Greg Howard said with a laugh.

"It just shows the strength and value of this county in this state."

Gwinnett is known as a GOP stronghold, boasting one of the biggest margins of victory for President George W. Bush during the 2004 election.

Howard said he also expected to see Kevin Kenerly and Jodie Rosser, who are vying for the Republican nod for the 4th Commission District, and Bobby Reese, a state House member who beat former chairman Wayne Hill during the primary last month, will speak.

The event will be held at 8 a.m. at the Golden Corral on Riverside Parkway in Lawrenceville.

Conway gets involved

Gwinnett's sheriff endorsed Hank Johnson in his race to unseat Cynthia McKinney in Congress.

Butch Conway joined with DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown and Rockdale Sheriff Jeff Wigington during a press conference earlier this week.

"The 4th District needs a partner in Washington and someone that law enforcement can work with," Conway, a Republican, said. "Hank is the best candidate to handle the job."

Johnson and McKinney square off Tuesday in a runoff for the Democratic party's nomination for the District 4 Congress seat, which includes a portion of the Lilburn and Norcross areas.

King endorses Parks

The third candidate in a race for the Barrow County Commission endorsed a former Auburn mayor in the upcoming runoff.

John King lent his support to Billy E. Parks, who had a 20-vote edge over incumbent David Dyer in the Republican primary for District 5.

King said that he considered Parks a friend and ally and that their voters think alike.

"We have similar ideas, similar values, similar interests," King said. "The folks that voted for me are the same ones that will vote for him."

King said he would not have entered the race if he had known Parks was mounting a campaign, and he thought Parks would have simply got the 106 votes that were cast for King.

"I think he has the best interest of the citizens at hear," King said. "I think he'd be a great commissioner."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.