SENATE RACE: Dugan, Hembree building their campaign finances – Times-Georgian: News


SENATE RACE: Dugan, Hembree building their campaign finances – Times-Georgian: News

The rematch between incumbent state Sen. Mike Dugan and challenger Bill Hembree is likely to be the biggest spending race on Carroll County’s May 20 Republican Party Primary ballot.

According to state disclosure forms filed March 31, Dugan is going into the campaign with a war chest of $24,112.28, while Hembree reported a balance of $65,585.25.

Among the two contested Carroll County Board of Commissioners races, only District 4 candidate Michelle Morgan filed a campaign disclosure form.

Under Georgia ethics legislation signed into law earlier this year, candidates for city and county offices now file their disclosure reports at the county elections office. In addition, the law allows a local candidate to sign an exemption affidavit, declaring he or she intends to raise or spend no more than $2,500. The signed form exempts them from having to file disclosure reports.

“All the candidates in the two contested Board of Commissioners races, except Morgan, signed affidavits,” said Leslie Robinson, Carroll County’s elections supervisor. “Morgan filed her disclosure report on March 31.”

Robinson said candidates who sign the affidavit can still raise funds, as long as they remain under the $2,500 limit.

“If they go over the $2,500 limit, then they have to start reporting,” she said.

Dugan’s March 31 disclosure form shows he has received $34,403.30 in contributions and has spent $10,291.02.

The contribution total included $12,803.16 carried over from previous reports. Most of the $21,400.14 contributions taken in by Dugan under the current filing period are $500, $1,000 and $2,500 donations from other legislators’ campaign committees. Lawmakers chipping in contributions included Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, $2.500; state Sen. Josh McKoon of Columbus, $2,500; state Sen. Hunter Hill of Atlanta, $2,500; and friends of Sen. John Wilkinson, Toccoa, $500.

Dugan received $2,500 from the Georgia Conservative Fund, $1,000 from the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, and $500.14 from a group identified as CARD of Georgia.

Dugan acknowledged Friday that most of his funds, at this point, have come from fellow state senators.

“These are people I’ve worked with in the Senate and developed relationships with and they want to help out,” he said. “I haven’t held any fundraisers yet, but I have two coming up, one next week and another on April 29.”

Dugan’s largest expenses so far have been $3,115.01 for signs and $3,500 to RTA Strategy, a Roswell disclosure reporting service firm.

“People have different attitudes on signs,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of my signs are in people’s yard or businesses. They’re not on right of way. It’s important for me to have an actual person put the sign up in their yard.”

Hembree’s listed contributions include $34,985.25 carried over from his previous campaign and $35,000 of his personal money, which is listed as a loan to the campaign on the disclosure form.

Hembree on Friday defended use of the previous campaign funds.

“I have an attorney who has told me we’re doing everything exactly by state law,” he said.

He called a March 15 Douglas County Sentinel article, questioning his use of those funds “a hit piece.” In the article, Holly LaBerge, head of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, formerly known as the state ethics commission, was quoted as saying Hembree is not allowed to transfer funds from one campaign cycle to another.

via SENATE RACE: Dugan, Hembree building their campaign finances – Times-Georgian: News.

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