ATLANTA - U.S. Sen. Zell Miller has jumped out to a huge fund-raising lead over former Sen. Mack Mattingly in the race to complete the unexpired term of Sen. Paul Coverdell.
Mr. Miller, a Democrat and two-term former governor, raised nearly $1.8 million between early August and the end of September, according to a campaign-finance report released Monday by his campaign.
Mr. Mattingly, a Republican who served one term in the Senate during the 1980s and is Mr. Miller's strongest opponent in the seven-candidate field, raised slightly more than $650,000 during the same period, according to his report.
After spending nearly $780,000, Mr. Miller still had approximately $1 million left in his campaign treasury as of Sept. 30, according to his report, more than twice Mr. Mattingly's war chest of slightly more than $475,000. Mr. Mattingly spent less than $175,000, according to his report.
With just a few weeks remaining before the Nov. 7 election, Mr. Miller's fund-raising numbers pale in comparison to the more than $5.2 million spent by the average U.S. Senate winner two years ago, according to figures compiled by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics.
But that's because of the unusual circumstances surrounding the race. Gov. Roy Barnes appointed Mr. Miller on July 24, six days after Mr. Coverdell's death, to fill the seat for the remainder of this year. Mr. Miller and the other candidates qualified for the nonpartisan election during the first week of August, leaving three months to wage the campaign.
During his eight years as governor, Mr. Miller proved to be an adept fund-raiser, said Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia.
"In both 1990 and 1994, Miller set records for successful gubernatorial campaigns in terms of money raised and spent," Dr. Bullock said.
Mr. Miller's fund-raising advantage allowed him to launch television ads shortly after Labor Day, while Mr. Mattingly only began running his TV spots nine days ago. As a result, Mr. Miller spent $525,000 on advertising, to less than $80,000 spent by Mr. Mattingly for media consultants and production, direct mail and printing.
But Bill Wood, Mr. Mattingly's campaign spokesman, cited a recent poll that showed Mr. Miller's support at 50 percent, to 32 percent for Mr. Mattingly, after a succession of weeks during which the Democrat had the TV airwaves virtually to himself.
Mr. Mattingly's campaign strategy is aimed at holding Mr. Miller to 50 percent of the vote, which would force a runoff between the top two vote getters.
Mr. Miller raised nearly $1.3 million from individual contributors through the end of September, while receiving $472,000 from political-action committees. Mr. Mattingly brought in $540,297 in donations from individuals and $89,580 from PACs during the reporting period.
The Democrat's list of donors reads like a Who's Who of Georgia politics and business. He received $1,000 each from Gov. Roy Barnes, former Sen. Sam Nunn, former Govs. Carl Sanders and George Busbee, former Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard, and 1998 Democratic Senate candidate Michael Coles; and $2,000 from Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor.
Among Mr. Miller's business contributors were former Atlanta Olympics chief Billy Payne; Leo Mullin, CEO of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines; S. Truett Cathy, founder and CEO of Chick-Fil-A, also based in Atlanta; Bill Dahlberg, CEO of the Southern Co.; and Abit Massey, president of the Georgia Poultry Federation.
Plus, Mr. Miller received $5,000 each from a host of union-affiliated PACS and $5,000 each from PACs formed by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Georgia Power Co., Orlando-based AirTran Airlines, Columbus-based AFLAC insurance company and Philip Morris Cos.; and $10,000 from two PACs associated with Coca-Cola Inc.
Senate Democratic leadership PACs organized by Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.; Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, D-S.C., and several others also contributed to Mr. Miller's campaign. He received $16,500 from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Several nationally prominent Republicans contributed to Mr. Mattingly's campaign, including 1996 GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole and former Vice President Dan Quayle, who gave $1,000 each; retired Gen. Colin Powell, who donated $500; and Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to President Bush, who contributed $250.
The challenger also received $1,000 from businessman Guy Millner, the Republican nominee for governor twice and for the Senate once, and $1,000 from aviation entrepreneur Lewis Jordan, who briefly considered running against Mr. Miller.
Mr. Mattingly's PAC contributions included $5,000 from a PAC formed by employees of Lockheed, a Marietta-based defense contractor, and $5,000 from Thomasville-based Flowers Industries. The Republican received $17,500 from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, $9,000 from a Senate GOP leadership PAC formed by Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles, R-Okla., and $5,000 each from leadership PACs formed by Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and two other Republican senators.
Reach Dave Williams at (404) 589-8424.
|U.S. Sen. Zell Miller out-raised and outspent former Sen. Mack Mattingly through the end of September in the Nov. 7 non-partisan election to complete the final four years of the late Sen. Paul Coverdell's unexpired term. As of Sept. 30, Miller, a Democrat, had more than twice as much money in his campaign treasury as Mattingly, a Republican:|
Cash on Hand
Sources: Mattingly and Miller campaigns