Pennington says he expected Deal to outspend him » Local News »


Pennington says he expected Deal to outspend him » Local News »

Dalton Mayor David Pennington says he’s neither surprised nor worried that Gov. Nathan Deal has raised more money so far than him.

“The only thing that’s surprising is that he didn’t raise more. Both Roy Barnes and Sonny Perdue (former governors) had raised more money than he has at this point,” Pennington said.

Year-end 2013 campaign contribution reports show Pennington badly trailing Deal, the man he plans to challenge in the Republican primary, in fundraising. Deal reported he had raised $7.6 million through Dec. 31, almost $4 million of that in the last six months of 2013, and had $4 million on hand.

Georgia’s general primary has historically taken place in July, but last year a federal judge set the primary date for congressional races on May 20. The General Assembly is expected to move the primary for all other state races to that day after it convenes on Monday.

Pennington had raised $374,676.99 and had $241,330.35 on hand, according to information his campaign filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. While Deal’s contributions came from across Georgia as well as other states, most of Pennington’s money came from the north Georgia area.

State School Superintendent John Barge, the third announced candidate for the Republican nomination, had raised just $108,000 and had only $25,000 on hand.

“We knew from Day One he (Deal) was going to outspend us,” Pennington said. “We thought he was actually going to raise more, $5 million-plus (in the second half of the year. There was nothing alarming to us about this report. There is nothing discouraging about this. We now have enough money to pay our overhead. We don’t have the overhead he does, and we are raising money for television and direct mail.”

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