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Photos left untrue impression

Mannix and Atkinson did not endorse Charter in his campaign against Purdy

Photos of two prominent Republicans were removed from Joe Charter's campaign ads and mailers after his opponent claimed the photos implied an endorsement.

Gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix and state Sen. Jason Atkinson, both Republicans, do not endorse Charter's campaign for Jackson County Circuit Court judge, their campaign representatives said Friday.

An advertisement from Charter's campaign that appeared in Tuesday's edition of the Upper Rogue Independent included a quote from Mannix accompanied by his photo. The advertisement implies that Mannix is endorsing Charter, said Bill Purdy, Charter's opponent for Circuit Court judge.

This is consistent with the Charter campaign's behavior in the primary. The Oregon Judicial Code of Conduct requires that candidates for judge not misrepresent the facts, Purdy stated in a press release sent to the Mail Tribune this week. Purdy could not be reached for further comment.

A photo of Atkinson and a mock-up quote appeared in a Charter campaign mailer, which was sent out to 13,000 homes Tuesday, said Kim Lewis, president of the marketing firm Kingsley, Lewis and Associates Inc., which is handling the Charter campaign.

But the quote was entirely fabricated and never authorized, Atkinson told Purdy.

Lewis said a lack of communication with Atkinson was to blame. It's common practice in marketing campaigns to send mock-up quotes to supporters for their approval, Lewis said. Lewis said he never heard back from Atkinson and had no idea the quote was not acceptable.

The Charter campaign pulled both photos from future ads and mailers, Lewis said, adding that the photos' appearance on Charter's campaign materials is a misunderstanding.

We're respectful of the Republican Party, Lewis said. We don't want to polarize people over this.

Lewis said he received permission from Mannix to display the quote in campaign ads. However, he did not receive permission to use a photo, he said.

Representatives of the Mannix campaign asked that the photo and quote be removed from any future advertisements for Charter's campaign.

Kevin does not endorse any candidates in these races, said Mike Beard, spokesman for the Mannix campaign.

Atkinson had endorsed Charter's campaign until Thursday when he sent Charter an e-mail withdrawing his support, Lewis said.

Atkinson could not be reached for comment.

We're not trying to make it a partisan race. Charter said. We're going to make mistakes. When we do, we apologize and try to make it right.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail .