Candidates report donations in run-up to election
Two Georgia General Assembly seats are contested in Floyd County.
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.