Barnes Cancels Fundraiser Hosted by Accused Pastor

September 23, 2010

ATLANTA (AP) -- Campaign officials for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes say they have canceled a fundraiser that was to be hosted by a pastor at the center of a sexual coercion lawsuit.

Barnes spokesman Emil Runge says the event was canceled Tuesday, when the lawsuit involving two young men was first reported. The campaign would not say Wednesday if the event was scrapped before learning of the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long.

Long is pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a 25,000-member megachurch near Atlanta. He is one of Barnes' more prominent black supporters and hosted a fundraiser for the former governor during the Democratic primary.

Long also donated $5,000 to Barnes' bid.

Runge called the allegations "troubling" but said the campaign wouldn't comment further until more was known.

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