The three Republican candidates seeking to be elected tomorrow to represent Oconee County in the Georgia General Assembly in January spent nearly twice as much as their Democratic counterparts in the crucial first 25 days of October.
The three Republicans also raised nearly twice as much money as the three Democrats during that time period.
And the three Republicans, reflecting the vast reserves held by incumbent Sen. Bill Cowsert, were sitting on four times as much cash going into the final 11 days before the Nov. 6 election as the Democrats.
The candidates spent most of their money on campaign consultants and their services, advertising and printing services.
The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow, with 15,821 of the county’s 27,530 active, registered voters yet to cast a ballot following 16 days of early voting.
Incumbent House District 117 Representative Deborah Gonzalez, a Democrat, raised just slightly more in the first 25 days of October than her Republican challenger, Houston Gaines, according to Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
Gonzalez raised $11,890, while Gaines raised $11,733.
Incumbent House District 119 Representative Jonathan Wallace, a Democrat, raised $16,532, according to the Disclosure Reports, but his Republican challenger, Marcus Wiedower, raised $23,299 during that same period.
It was the second strong fundraising report for Wiedower, who reported raising $80,625 during the July 1 to Sept. 30 reporting period.
Incumbent Senator Cowsert raised $24,700 in the Oct. 1 to Oct. 25 period, while his Democratic challenger, Marisue Hilliard, raised only $5,943.
The Disclosure Reports were due on Oct. 25, but candidates have a grace period of a week to file the reports. Hilliard filed her report on Oct. 25, Wiedower filed his on Oct. 30, and the remaining four candidates filed on Nov. 1.
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Gonzalez received most of her money in small amounts, but she did receive the maximum allowed of $2,600 from the Georgia Responsible Leadership Fund of Atlanta and $2,000 from MoveOn.org PAC from Washington, D.C.
Gaines’ largest contribution was $1,300 from an individual. He received contributions of $1,000 from All American Bail Bonds LLC of Winder, from John Carson for GA House in Roswell, and from Southern State Police Benevolent Association PAC in McDonough.
Contributions received by Gonzalez and Gaines reflected patterns set by the two going back to the summer of 2017, when each was competing in a special election for the 117th House seat. Gonzalez won that election.
Wallace received $1,500 from Red Clay Democrats of Atlanta and $1,350 from the Georgia Responsible Leadership Fund of Atlanta. These were his two largest contributions.
Wiedower received three contributions of $1,500, the largest single amount he reported. These were from Georgia Wins Inc. of Atlanta, Jay Florence Insurance Commission of Dunwoody, and Value Added Concepts, an Oconee County developer.
Much of Cowsert’s October funding came from Political Action Committees, with the largest single contribution of $2,600 from Workplace Injury Network PAC of Atlanta.
Hilliard’s contributions were for small amounts, with her largest contributions coming from four individuals, each of whom gave $250.
Gaines spent $36,840 with Leading Point in Atlanta for advertising and consulting, $5,771 with Cox Media Group of Oconee County for advertising, and another $4,500 with Axiom Strategies of Kansas City, Mo., for data access, according to his Oct. 25 Disclosure Report.
Gaines’ total spending for the campaign period was $51,597.
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Wiedower spent $39,152 with War Room Strategies of Oconee County for consulting, fundraising and mailings. He also spent $28,158 with Jamestown Associates of Marlboro, N.J., for advertising. His total spending was $73,011.
Cowsert spent $84,119 with Parlay Marketing Partners of Athens for advertising and other campaign materials. His total spending for the period was $93,028.
Gonzalez spent $42,071 in the October period, with $20,066 of that going to North Georgia Mailing Service of Carnesville for printing and mailers.
Wallace spent $38,550, according to his October report, with $25,473 going to Modern Postcard of Carlesbad, Calif., for direct mailings.
Hilliard spent $30,129 with Targeted Persuasion of Raleigh, N.C., for direct mailings. Her total spending in the October period was $40,885.
Cowsert had a whopping $236,867 available for the final days of the campaign. He is unlikely to spend that amount, meaning he will carry forward a large campaign account for future use.
Gaines, too, was carrying money he is unlikely to spend in the final days of the campaign. His cash on hand at the time he filed his report was $91,139.
Wiedower spent almost all of his money and had only $7,439 available at the Oct. 25 filing deadline.
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Gonzalez reported $33,554 in unspent funds on Oct. 25.
Wallace reported having $35,189 in available funds in his October report.
Hilliard had $12,961 for the final days of the campaign, according to her report to the state.
All of Oconee County is in Senate District 46. Western Clarke County and eastern Walton County also are in the district.
Three of Oconee County’s 13 precincts–Athens Academy, Malcom Bridge and Bogart–are in the 117th House District. Clarke County dominates the district, which also includes parts of Barrow and Jackson counties.
The 10 Oconee County precincts not in the 117th House District are in the 119th House District, which is split roughly equally between Oconee and Clarke counties.