Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle reported raising about $6.7 million in donations since he jumped in the race eight months ago, and his campaign will have all but $1 million of that in the bank in the runup to May’s GOP primary.
Cagle reported raising more than $4 million in the disclosure period that will end on Jan. 31 and he has about $5.75 million in cash on hand. He’s likely to set the high bar in the frenzied fundraising race for governor, with help from many well-connected lobbyists and other Capitol veterans.
The fundraising figures are under close scrutiny in the wide-open race to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal. With three statewide election victories and a proven fundraising record, Cagle is the presumptive GOP frontrunner. But four leading GOP rivals are racing to prove he’s vulnerable.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp, former state Sen. Hunter Hill, businessman Clay Tippins and state Sen. Michael Williams are also in the contest; none have reported the latest fundraising figures yet. Ditto for the two Democratic contenders: former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans.
The reports aren’t due until the end of the month, but Cagle unveiled his figures early for two reasons: He and other sitting state office-holders are restricted from raising cash during the legislative session that started last week. And he wanted to amp up the pressure on his GOP rivals, including several who will spend the next few months raising cash while he’s in the Legislature.
“Once the legislative session is over, we’ll return to campaigning full time and deepening our reserves,” said Cagle in a statement. “We want to make sure we have every dollar we need to communicate effectively with Georgia voters.”
More recent AJC coverage of the governor's race:
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