Gubernatorial Candidates Report Finances as Primary Nears

Apr 8, 2014

Georgia’s incumbent governor continues to have the most cash on hand in the upcoming gubernatorial contest, but Democratic candidate and state Senator Jason Carter has raised a significant amount of money.

On Monday, Governor Deal reported having $3.9 million dollars on hand for his reelection campaign. Since the legislative session ended, Deal has raised more than $84,000. Jen Talaber is a spokesperson for Governor Deal’s campaign.

“We have a very strong momentum. The fact that all of that fundraising money came from within the state, the fact that we have grassroots networks in all 159 counties,  shows where this momentum is going, that people are excited.”

Republican primary opponent, former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, raised more than $67,000. His campaign's current balance is more than $208,000. State Schools Superintendent and GOP gubernatorial candidate John Barge came in last receiving less than $18,000. His campaign currently has a balance of more than $15,000.

The fact that Deal currently has the most cash doesn’t surprise Georgia State University Political Science Professor Steve Anthony.

“It’s going pretty close to form right now. The incumbent has by the far most.”

Anthony says Deal is and will likely remain the front runner in the GOP primary.

Meanwhile, the sole Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Senator Jason Carter, raised more than all of the Republicans in the race during the most recent reporting period. Carter reported receiving $414,000 in donations.

“We have a giant amount of enthusiasm from all over the state and we’ve been really excited about the way things are headed right now. I think everybody understands that...You can tell that the governor thinks it’s a real race, because he’s changing his positions left and right.”

University of Georgia Political Science Professor Charles Bullock says the infusion of cash will help Carter reach more voters.

“Having raised more than $400,000 and having more than a $1.5 million on hand, he will be able to buy television time.”

Still, Bullock says even if Carter raises a significant amount of money, he believes Deal would still have the edge if he beats out his primary opponents. Carter’s campaign currently has less than Deal’s with just over $1.6 million dollars on hand.