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DALTON, Ga. — A judge in Georgia has refused to release a congressional candidate from jail while he appeals a drunken driving conviction.

The Dalton Daily Citizen reported that Whitfield County Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris on Tuesday refused to release Steve Foster on bond during an appeal.

Morris sentenced Foster last month to six months in jail and six months of probation for the misdemeanor conviction.

The judge said Foster could be a flight risk, given his history of humanitarian work in Central America.

Foster is the Democratic candidate for the 14th Congressional seat currently held by Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger.

Federal law does not prohibit people with criminal records from running for Congress. Foster remains on the ballot and has said he will not drop out of the race.