Tea party questions Barbour's role in senate race

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Haley Barbour (BAHR'-ber) probably isn't running for office again in Mississippi. But he's still a target in his home state's intense Republican Senate primary.

Barbour is a former national Republican chairman and two-term Mississippi governor who now works at his influential Washington lobbying firm. He and several of his family members are driving six-term Sen. Thad Cochran's re-election campaign.

Several national conservative groups backing challenger Chris McDaniel are taking aim at the Barbour influence. Leaders at Club for Growth and FreedomWorks have suggested that Barbour is backing Cochran only because the veteran senator helps Barbour win lucrative lobbying business.

Barbour rejects that, saying it's the groups criticizing him that are poisoning a Mississippi election with millions of dollars in out-of-state money.

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