Political Insider

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Democratic newcomer builds hefty warchest in hunt for Georgia’s No. 2 job


First-time candidate Sarah Riggs Amico sent a message to other Democrats eyeing a race for lieutenant governor with one of the biggest fundraising hauls of any down-ticket candidate. 

The trucking executive, who formally entered the race in December, raised the brunt of her $386,000 in contributions over the span of one month. She added a loan of $186,000 and reported about $300,000 in cash on hand through January. 

She’s now the party’s front-runner to succeed Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle – her other Democratic opponents have raised little cash – but she may draw a better-known challenger

Vincent Fort, once the second-ranking Democrat in the state Senate, is considering a campaign for the job after his fifth-place finish in the Atlanta mayor’s race. And her supporters hope her haul convinces him to steer clear. 

The campaign said about one in five contributions came from independents or Republicans. And her donor list was dotted with well-known names in the political and business world. 

Former General Motors chief executive Fritz Henderson chipped into her campaign. So did Omid Kordestani, the executive chairman of Twitter. 

Other donors include Lauren Rourke, a recent Harvard graduate who led a campaign urging the school to disavow Steve Bannon, Democratic state Sen. Nan Orrock and corporate leadership guru Gerry Czarnecki. 

She’ll face tough competition from across the aisle. Republicans have held the seat since Cagle’s 2006 victory. And they are fast stocking up cash.

Former state Sen. Rick Jeffares has raised about $700,000 since getting in the race last year and has about $420,000 on hand. And former state Rep. Geoff Duncan has raised $720,000 – including $400,000 in loans – and has $515,000 on hand. 

The leading fundraiser, by far, is state Sen. David Shafer, once one of the top Republicans in the chamber. He’s raised $1.55 million overall and had almost all of that sum in the bank. He’s already launched his first ad salvo, a series of digital ads centering on his resolution condemning the NFL.

 


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.