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Mr. Barbour, who will be 60 years old on Oct. 22, has clearly been annoyed to be the subject of such criticism from a Democrat. "My opponent loves to quote the Bible," Mr. Barbour said sarcastically at a debate here last week - an unusual line of attack in a state with more churches per capita, by some counts, than any other. "I'll spare you the sanctimony," the governor said at another point, swatting down yet more inspiration from Scripture.

"This campaign should be on public policy," the exasperated governor continued, at the debate at Mississippi State University here. "That's what I want to focus on, making life better for Mississippians," he insisted, after an evening of holy writ from Mr. Eaves.
piecesaidNoam Scheiber