GOP challengers for Georgia's 12th Congressional District report campaign fundraising

12th District challengers report fundraising

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Knowing a win won’t come cheap, the campaigns for three Republicans seeking to unseat 12th District Democratic Congressman John Barrow reported raising amounts already hitting six figures.

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Wright McLeod  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Wright McLeod

Leading the pack in the Augusta-centered July Repub­lican primary is Augusta businessman Rick W. Allen, whose campaign reported he had raised more than $270,000 from 220 individual donors during the last quarter and has more than $200,000 cash on hand.

Allen, a contractor involved in several Augusta government construction projects, said “there is much work left to do” in the coming months to defeat Bar­row.

The four candidates seeking the 12th District Republican nomination will face off in the July 31 general primary. A runoff date is set for Aug. 21.

Trailing Allen by about $60,000 each are Augusta attorney Wright McLeod and state Rep. Lee Anderson.

McLeod, blasting Barrow in a statement as “wasting tax dollars on bailouts and bloated programs,” reported raising $134,642 during the last quarter, with $130,337 cash now on hand.

Anderson, who lives in Grove­­town, raised $138,182 from 241 donors in the last quarter of 2011.

“The voters of the 12th District will have a crystal-clear choice between a conservative farmer and an Obama Democrat,” said Reagan Williams, Anderson’s campaign manager.

A fourth candidate in the Republican primary, Maria Sheffield, won’t have anything to report until March, her spokeswoman, Kathryn Ballou, said.

“It made sense” to Sheffield and her new fundraising manager, Augusta native Gannon Gingrey Man­ning, to wait until after the holidays to allow donors to focus on their families during that time, Ballou said.

Also likely to turn up on the Republican primary ballot is Brian Nafarette, an abortion opponent from Evans who hasn’t reported raising any money.

Barrow, whose Savannah home was drawn out of the 12th District during reapportionment, had $691,507 on hand in his latest filing with the Federal Election Commission. The Democrat is serving his fourth term.

Retired Augusta State University political scientist Ralph Walker said he has noticed the effects of candidate fundraising in the numerous political signs posted along Augusta roads.

“Name recognition is the name of the game,” Walker said. “You can buy a lot of name recognition with money.”

Barrow plans to raise about $3 million this year to retain the seat, according to University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock. A challenger need not match Barrow dollar for dollar, Bullock said, but he or she needs at least enough to survive the primary, a runoff and the general election.

With the potential to unseat a Democrat in a district that’s grown more Republican by 10 percentage points since reapportionment, candidates are likely to see some super PAC spending on their behalf, although probably not until after the primary, Bullock said.

After July, the race might resemble the 2010 election of Republican Congressman Austin Scott, who was pushed to victory over Macon Democrat Jim Marshall by big political action committee and Republican party contributions, he said.

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Lee Benedict
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Lee Benedict 01/28/12 - 06:42 pm
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Anderson voted for

Anderson voted for TSPLOST...doesn't sound conservative. His other left-leaning votes will come out soon enough. Says one thing, does another.

Lee Benedict
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Lee Benedict 01/28/12 - 06:49 pm
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A whole heap of homeowner

A whole heap of homeowner associations have some harsh words for McLeod. And then there's Allen and his Lincoln County school fiasco that some friends in the state legislature helped him with. Talk is what these guys do, and, if any of them go against Barrow and his $$, he has many things from which to create many commercials...and the debate(s) will not be pleasant.

Insider Information
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Insider Information 01/28/12 - 08:10 pm
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The powers-that-be blocked my

The powers-that-be blocked my earlier comment about Wright McLeod.

Since I can't recount my personal experience with him, can I say that he is really, really not a nice person?

TrulyWorried
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TrulyWorried 01/28/12 - 09:04 pm
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Odd - how the money amount

Odd - how the money amount each one of these persons has so far, is listed.
"Money rules the world" - ? - even now and here???

Anonmom
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Anonmom 01/29/12 - 01:27 pm
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there was no fiasco at

there was no fiasco at Lincoln Co schools with Rick Allen--

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/29/12 - 02:05 pm
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Remember back when the

Remember back when the Lincoln County posters over on the old forum would complain about the new high/middle school? They never complained about the quality of the building — they only questioned the decision of the school board to specify such a massive and costly structure. You can't blame Allen for that!

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/29/12 - 02:03 pm
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Good points, Lee, about

Good points, Lee, about Anderson talking one way and voting another. Hey, did you see over in Sylvia's column about Anderson on the stump fielding a question about the Federal Reserve? He thought they were talking reserves and said it was important for the federal government to build up large reserves like he did in Columbia County government.

That's scary.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/29/12 - 02:07 pm
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Speaking of Lincoln County,

Speaking of Lincoln County, it's not even in the new 12th district, is it?

GeezeLouise
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GeezeLouise 01/29/12 - 05:41 pm
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Let's see here. Rick Allen =
Unpublished

Let's see here.
Rick Allen = Augusta Cabal backed candidate = equals more crony capitalism and government waste going to pet projects of the Cabal.

Lee Anderson = Nice guy but doesn't seem to have a clue. I don't care how much of a good-ole-boy you are, but if you don't know what The Federal Reserve is, then you have no business running for Congress.

Wright McLeod = Don't know enough about him really, but so far what I am hearing isn't too positive.

Maria Sheffield = A non Augusta area candidate not tied to the local ruling Cabal, which is probably makes her better for the taxpayers. But again I don't know much about her. I understand she is based out of Dublin, so she may run strong in parts of the district outside the Augusta area, but need more info on her. When we see how much money she raised we wil know whether or not she will be a contender.

John Barrow = A ton of cash running against a field of 3 very weak candidates from the Augusta area. He has to be feeling a lot better about his chances for reelection now.

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