ATLANTA — In the race for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat, the fierce competition for donors is underway and U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston continues to dominate when it comes to raising money among Republican candidates.
Over the past three months, Kingston has received more than $800,000 in contributions and has about $2.9 million in cash. It’s his third consecutive quarter in which he has raised $800,000 or more.
“Jack continues to demonstrate that he’s got the momentum on the fundraising side,” said Eric Tanenblatt, a GOP strategist who served as finance co-chair for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. “He’s winning the money primary, and that’s impressive.”
Whether the fundraising haul will translate into votes remains to be seen, although the large cash flow will create major opportunities for expanded voter outreach — paying for expensive TV ads and campaign mailers. In a statewide race with a crowded field of Republicans, money can make a difference, especially as Kingston looks to raise his profile among voters outside his congressional district in Savannah.
This week, businessman David Perdue, cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, released his first report since forming an exploratory committee five months ago, showing about $810,000 in contributions. He also donated $500,000 of his own money to his campaign and made a $500,000 personal loan.
Perdue said he will not be self-funding his campaign, but wanted to demonstrate to donors that he was invested in his campaign. At the end of the quarter, he had about $1.3 million in cash on hand.
The rest of the Republican field was running about even in terms of money raised. U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta received just over $287,000 in the past three months, while U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Athens had about $280,000 in contributions. Former Secretary of State Karen Handel reported about $286,000 in contributions.
The big difference among the three was in cash on hand. Gingrey, who along with Kingston was able to transfer a significant sum from his congressional campaign account, had about $2.5 million in the bank. Meanwhile, Broun had about $450,000 in cash and Handel had roughly $312,000.