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."

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

X