Ray Boyd, a wealthy businessman from Morgan County, has joined the Republican race for governor in a large way – by putting in $2 million of his own money.
That’s as much cash as John Oxendine, the current GOP front-runner, reported on hand this week.
Boyd brings the number of Republican candidates to eight. See his campaign disclosure report here. It’s very simple – a two followed by six zeroes.
This picture of him was shot as he submitted his campaign finance report last week.
Boyd picked up his own phone when we called. “I’m in this race to be governor of Georgia. I think I’m better qualified than anybody in the race. I think that the ones that are running – they’re so ethically challenged, it amazes me they would even have the gall to put their name in the hat,” he said.
“I’m appalled at Georgia. They had an ethics meltdown, and the new speaker was going to do something about that – well, they do the same damn thing that they do every time. They know the public’s attention [span] is about 10 minutes long, so they waited from December, he waits til the end of this legislative session, and he puts in a milk-toast change,” Boyd said.
The 67-year-old real estate executive has never run for office before. His campaign contributions have been limited – about $4,250 to national Republican causes since 2000. In November, he wrote a $6,100 check to Sam Olens, the former Cobb County commission chairman who’s now running for attorney general.
“He’s real,” Olens said this evening. “He’s a very conservative businessman, and he’s very disgusted with Congress and very disgusted with our president.”
Boyd, who owns Ray Boyd Properties, intends to accept no campaign contributions, and said the $2 million on his campaign disclosure “is not for show.”
“I’m going to try to be a we-the-people candidate. In normal times, a person like me would get ground up, but this is not normal times,” he said. “I’m running as a Ronald Reagan Republican, but I’m going to have both sides attacking me, because I’m for term limits.”
He intends to run on an anti-incumbent platform that will appeal to the tea party movement in Georgia.
“The tea party people do not endorse candidates, but if they wanted to endorse somebody, it would be somebody like me,” he said. “I’m very ticked off at people in our own government trying to castigate them as if they were some right wing, home-grown terrorist. That’s sickening and disgusting.”
Boyd said he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees while in the military – he left the U.S. Air Force as a captain.
“I’ve been flying below the radar my whole life. I came from very meager beginnings. I picked cotton as a little boy. I made a penny a pound,” he said.
“I’m also a person who is just appalled at some other wealthy people in Atlanta in the same kind of development business, who have been through as many ups and downs in the economy as I [have], and they assume that it wouldn’t happen again. I’m standing here today with no debt.
“I went down and listened to a group the other day crying like babies cause they can’t get financing, when they leveraged – they’ve been through four ups and downs. And so why in the hell, when the things were good, didn’t they take care of business?”
The Republican race for governor may have just gotten much, much more interesting.
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