Dallas-area Democrats defended Fred Baron on Monday, saying his loyalty to his friends and passion for Democratic politics were behind his payments to John Edwards’ mistress and the Edwards campaign worker who has identified himself as the father of her child.

Baron, a trial lawyer who became one of the kings of asbestos litigation, has admitted paying Rielle Hunter and former Edwards campaign staffer Andrew Young’s relocation expenses when they moved out of North Carolina and into million-dollar homes in California in the last two years.

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