Williams is self-funding his campaign for governor

[private]State Sen. Michael Williams (R-Cumming) isn’t worrying that he’ll have to dial for dollars in his campaign for governor — he’s chosen the self-financing route.

In Williams’ first campaign disclosure report filed this week, he revealed he has loaned his campaign $1 million, while reporting contributions of just $51,404.

That 20-1 ratio of personal funds to outside contributions is the largest we’ve seen so far from any candidate running for governor or lieutenant governor in 2018.  Williams is using the money frugally — he’s spent $107,806 and still has $944,024 cash on hand.

Williams, who is serving his second term in the state Senate, made his personal fortune by operating and then selling a chain of hair salons.

As the disclosure reports have been made public, here are the fundraising totals for the other Republican candidates for governor:

  • Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle: $2,659,044 in contributions, $143,866 spent, $2,515,178 cash on hand.
  • Secretary of State Brian Kemp: $1,710,592 in contributions, $186,691 spent, $1,523,900 cash on hand.
  • State Sen. Hunter Hill: $1,148,529 in contributions, $220,084 spent, $928,444 cash on hand.

Over in the Democratic primary, there are two candidates with similar financial totals.

As reported on Monday, state Rep. Stacey Abrams has raised $541,758, much of it in contributions from outside the state, but she’s spent $319,290 already, the highest total of any candidate for governor, and has $222,468 cash on hand.

State Rep. Stacey Evans followed with her report, which shows she has raised $415,319 but has only spent $49,494, leaving her with a higher total of $365,825 in the bank.

Evans, an attorney, has raised the bulk of her money from people in the legal profession.  Her biggest source of campaign funds has been former governor Roy Barnes, who gave $10,500 personally and another $10,500 through Barnes Law Group.

Barnes’ son-in-law, John Salter, contributed $21,000 to Evans while Barnes’ former top aide, Bobby Kahn, donated $10,500. Kahn’s wife, Susan, also contributed $10,500.

Lieutenant Governor

State Sen. David Shafer reported raising $900,121 in contributions for his campaign for the second-highest office in state government.  He has spent just $4,439, leaving him with $895,681 cash on hand.

Shafer still has $20,807 in the campaign account that he opened when he ran briefly for lieutenant governor in 2010 — he abandoned that race when Casey Cagle decided to run for a second term.

Shafer also has been draining his state Senate campaign account, through which he passed more than $2 million in contributions over the years.

On Jan. 31, Shafer reported he still had $1.3 million cash on hand in his Senate account.  He gave away most of that when he donated $1,025,000 to the Republican Leadership Fund of Georgia on March 2.

Some of that money soon came back to Shafer:  on June 22, he received contributions totaling $10,500 from the Republican Leadership Fund.

Shafer’s other opponents in the Republican primary have raised smaller, but still significant amounts for their campaigns.

State Sen. Rick Jeffares reported $355,575 contributions with only $6,513 in expenditures, leaving him with $349,061 cash on hand.

State Rep. Geoff Duncan loaned his campaign $100,000 and raised another $229,570 in contributions. He has spent $24,620 and had $304,949 left.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report


Tags: campaign finances , David Shafer , Michael Williams , Stacey Evans