Local Republican House and Senate candidates are raising—and spending—thousands of dollars in advance of the May 24 primary election, according to state campaign finance reports.
House District 80
In the Brookhaven/Sandy Springs’ House District 80, Republican Meagan Hanson’s fundraising is far outpacing rivals Catherine Bernard and Alan Cole in the quest to challenge Democratic incumbent Taylor Bennett.
Hanson’s latest full campaign finance report, as of March 31, showed her raising over $48,000 and having almost $36,000 cash on hand. Contributors included several political action committees as well as incumbent state representatives John Carson (Marietta), Michael Dudgeon (Johns Creek), Chuck Efstration (Dacula), Allen Peake (Macon) and Betty Price (Roswell). Among the contributing PACs were those of the American Institute of Architects Georgia, the Georgia Association of Manufacturers and Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia.
Bernard had raised more than $14,000 and spent more than $9,700 as of the March 31 report, while Cole had raised $6,200, mostly in the form of a personal loan.
House District 52
In the open race to replace retiring incumbent Rep. Joe Wilkinson in Buckhead/Sandy Springs’ House District 52, Graham McDonald raised more than $59,000 and Deborah Silcox raised more than $71,000 as of the March 31 filing. For both candidates, more than $50,000 of their funds were loans from the candidates themselves. Silcox had more than 30 individual contributors, compared to about a half-dozen for McDonald. Updated reports from Silcox show her raising a few thousand more dollars, including from state Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville).
Senate District 40
In Senate District 40, which includes Dunwoody and parts of Brookhaven and Sandy Springs, incumbent Fran Millar and Paul Maner had similar amounts of campaign cash on hand as of the March 31 filing. However, Millar began the year with nearly $121,000 and still had nearly $42,000 before the main fundraising period. Maner had nearly $46,000 on hand, but he reported only four contributors, with most of his funds coming from a personal loan.
House District 79
In Dunwoody’s House District 79, incumbent Tom Taylor’s funds dwarfed those of challenger Tom Owens. As of the March 31 report, Taylor had nearly $18,000 cash on hand, while Owens had $100.
Since then, according to state filings, Taylor has raised thousands more from several House colleagues, including House Speaker David Ralston, and from the political action committees of the Georgia Highway Contractors, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Georgia.