Can­di­dates re­port do­na­tions in run-up to elec­tion

Two Ge­or­gia Gen­eral As­sem­bly seats are con­tested in Floyd County.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Wag­ner DWag­

As vot­ers pre­pare to go to the polls Tues­day, cam­paign fi­nance state­ments filed by Ge­or­gia Gen­eral As­sem­bly can­di­dates show a big dis­par­ity in the races.

In the state Se­nate District 52 con­test, in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Chuck Huf­stetler re­ported more than $20,000 in do­na­tions dur­ing the month of Oc­to­ber, com­pared to $950 for his chal­lenger, Demo­crat Evan Ross.

Just one of Huf­stetler’s 26 listed do­na­tions came from an in­di­vid­ual, with the rest com­ing from po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tees rang­ing from Davita, Ver­i­zon and Al­tria to the At­lanta-based Com­mit­tee for Af­ford­able Work­force Hous­ing.

Mike Monetta, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Wolf PAC, con­trib­uted $2,100 last week. Formed dur­ing the Oc­cupy Wall Street rally in 2011, Wolf PAC aims to elim­i­nate the power of large cor­po­rate donors through pub­licly funded elec­tions.

Huf­stetler said Sun­day he’s never talked to any­one at Wolf PAC and the do­na­tion was made on­line, “but they know of my stand against dark money by ei­ther party.” The term refers to undis­closed do­na­tions to non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions that work se­cretly to sup­port can­di­dates, of­ten through at­tack ads against their op­po­nents.

Ross listed four do­na­tions in Oc­to­ber, from in­di­vid­u­als in New York, Wash­ing­ton state, De­catur and Ranger. He’s raised more than $32,000 over the course of his cam­paign and had just over $3,100 in the bank as of the re­port’s clos­ing date of Oct. 25.

The 52nd District cov­ers all of Floyd and parts of Chat­tooga, Gor­don and Bar­tow coun­ties.

The House District 13 race be­tween in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Katie Dempsey and Demo­cratic chal­lenger John Bur­nette II also shows a wide gap in fi­nan­cial sup­port.

Dempsey raised $10,850 be­tween Sept. 30 and Oct. 25, com­pared to the $400 raised by Bur­nette. Two of her 16 do­na­tions came from Rome res­i­dents, with the rest com­ing from lob­by­ing groups such as Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb, the PACs for In­ter­na­tional Pa­per and Ge­or­gia Trial Lawyers and other Repub­li­can of­fice-hold­ers.

Bur­nette’s in­flux of cash in Oc­to­ber came from Ge­orge Bur­nette of Cleve­land, Ten­nessee, and Kather­ine Heck­man of Cal­houn. He re­ported lit­tle spend­ing and closed out the month with $452 in his cam­paign ac­count.

Dempsey, who’s been in of­fice since 2007, re­ported $57,471 re­main­ing in her ac­count.

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