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Republican State Legislators’ Campaign Coffers Dwarf Their Democratic Opponents’

State Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens)

The three Democrats seeking to unseat three Republicans who represent Clarke and Oconee counties in the Georgia General Assembly began the election season with a small fraction of the financial resources of the three incumbents.

Andrew Ferguson, Mokah Jasmine Johnson, and Jeffrey Auerbach had only $35,927 in unspent campaign funds among them, according to the campaign contribution disclosure reports each of them filed in early July.

By contrast, incumbents Sen. Bill Cowsert, Rep. Houston Gaines and Rep. Marcus Wiedower had $654,664 among them. Wiedower was the pauper of the group of incumbents, with $109,787. Cowsert had $293,836, and Gaines had $251,041.

The three incumbents had so much money, in fact, that in each case most of their spending in the first five months of the year was giving away money to other candidates in the state. Cowsert gave $5,000 to Lieutenant Governor Candidate Burt Jones, while Gaines gave $1,000 to 10th Congressional District candidate Mike Collins, and Wiedower gave the same amount to Timothy Barr, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for that same seat.

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