Hillary Clinton made her first visit to Atlanta this campaign season on Thursday, but it wasn’t to hold a round-table discussion or meet with small business owners like she has in recent visits elsewhere.
The Democratic front-runner’s trip took her to the Buckhead estate of A.J. Johnson, a private equity financier and a member of the Points of Light board, for a closed-door fundraiser.
She’s the latest in a parade of presidential candidates to visit Georgia in the run-up to the 2016 election. Georgia is among a half-dozen Southern states aiming to band together to get more attention from White House hopefuls through an “SEC primary.” Atlanta also has long been a favorite fundraising spot for contenders from both parties.
Clinton’s trip came a day after a daylong visit to South Carolina, the site of her humbling primary loss to Barack Obama in 2008. At a speech in Columbia to more than 200 supporters (and 120 or so journalists), Clinton outlined her plans to strengthen pay equity for women.
A spot at the Atlanta fundraiser cost Clinton’s supporters a $2,700 donation, and those who raised at least $27,000 were considered “co-hosts.” Earning the full-fledged host designation required bringing in $50,000.
Georgia GOP Chairman John Padgett greeted Clinton’s arrival with a blistering attack questioning her closed-door event.
“Instead of taking this opportunity to meet with Georgia voters, listen to their concerns and set the record straight about her tenure in public office, Clinton continues to choose cash-flush donors instead of hardworking Georgians,” he said.