Democrat Jon Ossoff wound up raising nearly $30 million for his unsuccessful campaign to represent Georgia’s 6th District – by far the most ever raised in a U.S. House contest – and spent almost every last dime of it.
Campaign filing reports released this week show Ossoff raised about $6.3 million in the final three weeks of the vote and pumped in another $300,000 of his own money - $50,000 from a contribution and $250,000 in loans – in the last stretch. All told, he raised $29,959,740 and had about $13,000 left.
Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, earlier filed paperwork showing she raised $6.3 million throughout the campaign and has $430,000 left for what could be another grueling election bid to represent the suburban Atlanta district.
Campaign records show spending in the race, which pitted 18 candidates competing to succeed U.S. Rep. Tom Price, hovered beyond $60 million to become the most expensive election of its kind. The contest set one spending record after another as it became a nationally-watched proxy fight over Donald Trump, the healthcare overhaul and the battle for suburbia.
Ossoff’s final fundraising tally puts him in a unique orbit.
In roughly six months, he raised far more than John Kasich and several Republican presidential candidates during the 2016 cycle, more than House speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner – and more than Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat whose losing campaign for Senate set the 2016 fundraising record of $24.5 million.
The June 20 runoff drew about 260,000 voters – eye-popping turnout for this type of special election in Georgia that helped power Handel to a 4-point victory. Ossoff, 30, has not yet announced whether he’ll challenge Handel next year but said that he’s “not done fighting.”
Some other takeaways from the recent final filings:
Republican Dan Moody, a former state senator, wound up putting more than $3 million of his own money into his failed campaign for the seat. He raised another $130,000.
Republican Judson Hill, another former state senator, took in more than $640,000 in contributions – and lent his campaign another $160,000 from his bank account.
Republican Bob Gray, a former Johns Creek councilman, also dipped deep into his wallet, loaning his campaign $500,000 atop the $330,000 he raised.