Eight Republican candidates for governor enter the final four months before the July primary ready to throw nearly $7.3 million at the contest, according to financial disclosure reports filed with the State Ethics Commission.
The GOP candidates with the most cash on hand: state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, with $2.03 million; newcomer Ray Boyd with $2 million; and Eric Johnson with $1.7 million.
While finishing second in a recent statewide poll, former Secretary of State Karen Handel has less ready money for spending ($573,610) than former congressman Nathan Deal ($796,312).
Oxendine, state Sen. Jeff Chapman of Brunswick ($17,655 COH) and state Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton ($87,550 COH) have been barred from fund-raising since the Legislature has been in session.
Moreover, economic uncertainty played havoc with fund-raising for all candidates, and Oxendine Johnson was able to claim $701,100 raised in the last three months – the most of any GOP candidate. But that includes a $250,000 personal loan.
In fact, without real estate executive Ray Boyd’s $2 million to pad the ledger, Republican candidates as a group would be close to parity with Democratic cash on hand.
The five Democrats have just over $4 million in ready money to start the most crucial stretch of the primary contest – led by former Gov. Roy Barnes, who has $2.8 million in his pocket, the most of any gubernatorial candidate.
Both Attorney General Thurbert Baker ($624,645 COH) and House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin ($258,383) were hamstrung by the legislative session. Former National Guard commander David Poythress has $305,383 available, and Ray City Mayor Carl Camon has $104.
Many in politics complain about the bloviating on blogs, but Buzz Brockway on Peach Pundit has gone too far. He’s committed actual journalism with three spreadsheets that track the dollar figures for all statewide candidates, all state Senate candidates, and all state House contests.
Click here to see his work. It allows us to say that:
– Ken Hodges, a Democratic candidate for attorney general, raised more cash ($167,522) than all other AG candidates combined.
But Republican Sam Olens has the most cash on hand, $378,638. State Rep. Rob Teilhet of Smyrna, restricted by the legislative session, reports $207,243 in ready money. Max Wood, the former federal prosecutor from middle Georgia, has $26,727. In COH, Hodges stands at $305,758.
– Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has $765,082 in cash on hand, but Democrat Carol Porter didn’t do badly for a first-time candidate. She has $80,779 since announcing her candidacy.
– State School Superintendent Kathy Cox, also under fund-raising restrictions, has $23,660 in COH — just barely topping Republican primary opponent John Barge, with $21,685.
Democrat Beth Farokhi topped them both, and has $50,510 in ready money.
InsiderAdvantage and WSB-TV are out with a poll that measures the Democratic side of the race for governor.
Their numbers: Roy Barnes, 47 percent; Thurbert Baker:, 18 percent; David Poythress, 6 percent; Dubose Porter, 5 percent; undecided/no opinion, 24 percent.
The automated poll was conducted April 6 among 301 likely voters, which means it included any bump that Baker might have gotten from his legal fights with Gov. Sonny Perdue and Republican lawmakers. The margin of error is a fairly large 6 percentage points.
Gov. Sonny Perdue was at Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah on Wednesday to greet from the Georgia Army National Guard 48th Brigade as they arrived back home after a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.
Georgia Public Broadcasting quoted state Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville), chairman of that chamber’s appropriation committee, as saying the 1 percent in revenue growth reported for March by Gov. Sonny Perdue this week doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to the budget crisis.
“I don’t think anybody’s hanging anything on numbers getting a lot better. We’re just hoping that things stabilize and they don’t get any worse and we continue to match month-by-month with last year. That would be a win.”
Hill says the same plan remains—implementing proposed cuts to fill a 1.1 billion dollar shortfall.
And those revenue enhancements – the hospital bed tax, and the fee increases.
WMAZ in Macon reports that a Republican has dropped out of the race to unseat U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, the ever-assailled Democrat:
Bonaire Republican Valerie Meyers announced Wednesday that she’s dropping out of the race for the Eighth Congressional District.
She released this statement:
“While we have achieved much in our campaign efforts, I believe taking this step is the right thing for me and my family at this time. I have enjoyed working with all of our wonderful volunteers and appreciate the opportunities I have been given along the way.”
If memory serves, businesswoman Angela Hicks has most of the GOP establishment support in that race.
Sam Zamarripa of Atlanta left the state Senate in 2006. The Democrat is now the chairman of a coalition called Stop Too Big to Fail, which has waded into financial reform. ABC’s The Note caught up with him on Wednesday:
[Zamarripa] told us that the bills drafted by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank and Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd are “tactical bills” that don’t get at the systemic flaws that allowed for institutions that were literally too big — and too important to the American financial system — to allow to fail.
“It’s a little bit like treating termites with a shovel,” said Zamarripa, a former state senator from Georgia. “The systemic nature of the too big to fail problem is bigger than just regulatory reform. It has to look at the very size of the banks themselves. So while I respect what [Sen. Dodd] has done I think to your point, there’s a lot more questions need to be asked — not only of what happened but of what’s going to happen.”
He added: “I don’t think we should be institutionalizing the banks that are too big to fail. I think we should be asking questions like why are — why do we allow banks to exist at a certain size? That’s where I would begin.”
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