Gov. Nathan Deal raised more than $1.7 million for his inauguration and transition, with more than half the donors being affiliated with lobbyists.
The vast majority of the donations came from companies and individuals who gave more than $1,000 at a time.
The inaugural committee also raised an additional $234,000 from the sale of tickets to a January inaugural ball that was canceled due to a snow and ice storm, and three companies contributed more than $35,000 in services.
The money, according to records released by Deal's inaugural committee, was used to cover the costs of Deal's January swearing-in, his May inaugural celebration, salaries, security and other costs totaling more than $1.25 million.
Jay Morgan, co-chairman of the combined inaugural and transition committee, said it was an easy sell to find contributors.
"You look at the list of corporations that either sat out the governor's race or gave the bare minimum and this was the first opportunity they had to go all-in with the new governor," Morgan said. "It was an easy decision."
It's no surprise then, he said, that of the 170 donors, at least 100 employ, or are associated with, lobbyists and lobbying firms advocating on their behalf before state government. But Morgan said Deal, who imposed the $50,000 cap, never solicited a single contribution.
The transition and inaugural were funded 100 percent through the private contributions and included not just Deal but all the newly elected statewide constitutional officers.
The Jan. 10 swearing-in, which had originally been planned for the Capitol lawn but was moved inside due to weather, cost more than $140,000. The canceled Jan. 10 gala cost nearly $300,000 -- money that was not recovered. The May 2 celebration cost more than $240,000.
The biggest single donors, each of whom gave a maximum $50,000, were: AT&T, road builder C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., insurance giant CIGNA, Georgia Power Co., banker and businessman Ken Boring and Select Management Resources.
More than a dozen companies and individuals each gave $5,000, including tobacco giant Altria, Atlanta Gas Light and pharmaceutical maker Pfizer.
Lottery-management firms GTech and Scientific Games contributed $25,000 and $15,000, respectively. Cadillac Jack, a Duluth-based company that develops video lottery machines, gave $2,500.
The committee also received $25,000 from Koch Companies Public Sector. The firm is a lobbying arm of Koch Industries, the Kansas-based conglomerate that owns Georgia-Pacific and has helped fund conservative causes across the country, including the recent dust-up over public labor unions in Wisconsin. Koch employs some of the top lobbyists in Georgia, including Boyd Petit, Skin Edge and Trip Martin.
Among the top business sectors, utilities gave more than $200,000 and insurance companies contributed $240,000.
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