U.S. Senator David Perdue presents his address More than 2,500 people attended the annual Georgia Chamber of Commerce - Eggs & Issues Breakfast. Speakers included Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, House Speaker David Ralston, and U.S. Senator David Perdue.
Photo: Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com
Photo: Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

Georgia Republican Senate candidates build early fundraising leads

Georgia Republicans opened a huge financial lead over their Democratic rivals in the state’s dual U.S. Senate races, according to federal disclosures that show incumbents start the year with multimillion-dollar edges. 

But Democratic U.S. House candidates in the state’s most-watched kept pace or outdid their GOP counterparts in the state’s two competitive suburban Atlanta contests.

Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue cemented his status as Georgia’s top fundraising candidate in 2019, collecting nearly $2 million in the final three months of the year. The former Fortune 500 chief executive kicks off the year with about $7.8 million as he races for a second term.

His chief Democratic fundraising rival is Jon Ossoff, a former 6th District candidate who raised about $1 million over the last three months, and has $1.5 million in his campaign coffers. 

The other two Democratic rivals lagged behind. Teresa Tomlinson collected about $530,000 over the three-month period and has $320,000 in hand. And Sarah Riggs Amico raised $140,000 and pumped another $365,000 into her campaign. She’s got nearly $500,000 in her warchest. 

All three candidates burned through their money at a high rate. Ossoff reported spending about 80% of the cash he collected over the last quarter. And Amico and Tomlinson spent roughly as much as they amassed over the last three months.

In Georgia’s other Senate race, Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler made good on her promise to dip into her piggy bank to jumpstart her campaign. She pumped $5 million of her own cash into her campaign, and ended the quarter with about $5.4 million in her account.

Overall, she’s pledged to spend at least $20 million to defend the seat, though she plans to inject the money into her campaign in installments. 

Her two main opponents – Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins – don’t have to file disclosures because they entered the race this week. Another contender, Democrat Matt Lieberman, raised more than $700,000 and has about $370,000 in his warchest. .

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath ended the year with the heftiest Democratic campaign bank account. She took in nearly $1 million in the fourth quarter and ended the year with about $2 million in her coffers. 

That surpassed her Republican rival, former Rep. Karen Handel, who raised $300,000 over the same period and has about $830,000 in cash on hand. 

In the wide-open race for Georgia’s 7th District, Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux reported about $860,000 in the bank – the most of any candidate racing to succeed retiring Rep. Rob Woodall. 

See more details here: A final tally: How much cash Georgia candidates raised in 2019

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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