Georgia GOP racks up debts as Democrats hold cash advantage

The Georgia Republican Party is barely breaking even through the first six months of this non-election year as it took on substantial debts, according to disclosure reports filed this month.

Republicans raised $636,000 and spent $613,000 from February through June. The party had a a net balance of $105,000 -- but also $91,000 in outstanding debts, all incurred since January.

The party spent big to throw its spring gala -- including a $12,875 payment for presidential son Michael Reagan to speak -- in Atlanta, and the Georgia GOP convention in Athens, which attracted a bevy of presidential candidates. The party owes chairman John Padgett $55,000, which he fronted to the Classic Center to help pay for the convention.

The Georgia GOP's account for federal races was in slightly better shape, with $33,000 on hand and $13,000 in debts.

Democrats benefited from a half-million dollar surplus carried over from 2014. From January through June the party raised $203,000 and spent $277,000, then moved another $257,000 to a party account for federal races.

The Democrats ended June with about $180,000 on hand and just $2,000 in debts. It's a far cry from their sedan-sized bankroll at this time two years ago. The party's federal account, meanwhile, had $76,000 on hand and $57,000 in debts

Georgia GOP spokesman Ryan Mahoney pointed to Republicans' fundraising and electoral success in 2014, as the state party raised and spent $6.5 million and the GOP swept statewide offices without a runoff. Democrats raised $4.7 million in the 2014 cycle.

Mahoney added: "Now, as we enter into a new election cycle, the GAGOP will once again launch an aggressive fundraising program to protect our U.S. Senate seat and win back the White House."

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