Millions of dollars have poured in to Georgia congressional campaign coffers in the last three months, as candidates look to show their viability a year out from the 2020 election.
The campaign finance reports submitted Tuesday show Democrats outraising Republicans in two key U.S. House races while needing to play catch-up in a U.S. Senate race.
In one of the Senate elections, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) raised about $2.4 million toward his re-election campaign, or about as much as the quarter of Democrats vying to unseat him.
Investigative journalist Jon Ossoff brought in the most money, raising about $811,000 in three weeks and transferred more than $532,000 from his run in the 6th Congressional District special election in 2017.
Former Lt. Gov. nominee Sarah Riggs Amico raised more than $310,000 since launching her campaign late August and added $400,000 of her own money, “putting her money where her mouth is,” according to a press release.
Teresa Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, was the first to enter the race in May and raised $382,000 in the last quarter. In a social media video, Tomlinson touted her total fundraising haul of $932,000 since launching and contributions from all 50 states as a positive step to win the primary and defeat Perdue.
Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry raised $88,000 since joining the race in July, and said he believes he will have the money he needs to win the primary.
“Look, I’m not the establishment money candidate, but I’m bringing in new people, new energy to this campaign,” he said in a statement. “This is a different type of campaign that is engaging folks who don’t usually participate in politics.”
Georgia Senate campaign Q3 fundraising/cash on hand
- Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) – $2.4 million raised, $6.3 million cash on hand
- Jon Ossoff – $1.34 million raised ($532,000 from House campaign),
$1.29 million cash on hand
- Sarah Riggs Amico – $761,000 raised ($400,000 self-loan), $425,000 cash on hand
- Teresa Tomlinson – $382,000 raised, $290,000 cash on hand
- Ted Terry – $88,000 raised, $68,000 cash on hand
The northern Atlanta suburbs have also seen an influx of cash, with nearly 20 candidates in the 6th and 7th Congressional District races raking in more than $8 million for this election cycle so far.
In the last three months, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) brought in more than $623,000 as she hopes to defend her 6th Congressional District seat from several Republican challengers.
Karen Handel, who won the special election against Ossoff then lost in the 2018 election to McBath, brought in over $250,000 in this quarter’s report, outpacing state Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), who raised about $167,000.
After loaning herself half a million dollars and raising $23,000 in the second quarter, Marjorie Taylor Greene picked up more than $102,000 this past quarter. Nicole Rodden raised just under $9,000 and has $31,000 cash on hand after loaning herself $99,000 to start her campaign.
Georgia 6th Congressional District campaign Q3 fundraising/cash on hand
- Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) – $623,000 raised, $1.3 million cash on hand
- Karen Handel – $250,000 raised, $631,000 cash on hand
- State Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) – $167,000 raised, $403,000 cash on hand
- Marjorie Taylor Greene – $102,000 raised, $498,000 cash on hand
- Nicole Rodden – $9,000 raised, $31,000 cash on hand
In the 7th Congressional District, Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux is the financial frontrunner looking to win the seat she narrowly lost in 2018, raising over $285,000 in the three-month period of July 1-Sept. 30. State Sen. Zahra Karinshak (D-Duluth) entered the race midway through the filing period and raised nearly $209,000.
The top three Republican fundraisers overall have supplemented their hauls with their own funds. State Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) raised $128,000 in Q3 and loaned her campaign more than $600,000 in June. Lynne Homrich brought in $170,000 in Q3 and loaned her campaign $250,000 in June, and Rich McCormick raised $63,000 last quarter and added $132,000 of his own money at the end of September.
Republican Mark Gonsalves also loaned his campaign $50,000 last quarter while raising $57,000 more, after loaning himself $50,000 when he first launched his campaign in June.
Republican Lerah Lee’s report shows she raised more than $300,000 in the third quarter, with most of it appearing to come from vague-sounding political action committees with no contact information and well over the Federal Election Commission campaign finance contribution limits. Almost all of that money was spent on one campaign consultant, Campaign Solutions.
Lee’s campaign told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the contributions were from individual donors and it would correct the errors.
Other candidates in the race include Democrat Nabilah Islam ($102,000 raised this quarter), Republican Ben Bullock ($96,000 raised this quarter), Democratic state Rep. Brenda Lopez-Romero ($32,000 raised this quarter), Democrat John Eaves ($28,000 raised this quarter) and Republican Jacqueline Tseng ($175) and Joe Profit, who raised $0.
Georgia 7th Congressional District campaign Q3 fundraising/cash on hand
- Lerah Lee – $300,000 raised, $82,000 cash on hand
- Carolyn Bourdeaux – $285,000 raised, $692,000 cash on hand
- Zahra Karinshak – $209,000 raised, $200,000 cash on hand
- Rich McCormick – $209,000 raised ($132,000 self-loan), $447,000 cash on hand
- Lynne Homrich – $170,000 raised, $437,000 cash on hand
- Renee Unterman – $128,000 raised, $771,000 cash on hand
- Nabilah Islam – $102,000 raised, $75,000 cash on hand
- Ben Bullock – $96,000 raised, $74,000 cash on hand
- Mark Gonsalves – $107,000 raised ($50,000 self-loan), $184,000 cash on hand
- Brenda Lopez-Romero – $32,000 raised, $47,000 cash on hand
- Jacqueline Tseng – $175 raised, $164 cash on hand
- Joe Profit - $0 raised, $5,700 cash on hand
Not every race has as many candidates or as much fundraising, but that doesn’t stop incumbents from fundraising to varying degrees.
Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta) brought in more than half a million dollars last quarter and is sitting on more than $2.7 million. Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-West Point) raked in $271,000 last quarter, while Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Lithonia) brought in $33,000.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) raised over $310,000 in Q3 and has more than $1.3 million cash on hand. That could come in handy if Collins is appointed to fill the other U.S. Senate seat that Sen. Johnny Isaskson (R-Ga.) will step down from at the end of 2019. The appointee would then have to run in a “jungle primary” special election next November.