The Georgia Special Election Got A Lot Of Money, And Most Of It Came From Out Of State

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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The Georgia race to replace former GOP Rep. Tom Price shattered local financing records for a congressional election, but a Tuesday report from the Center for Public Integrity revealed that the vast majority of the money came from outside the district.

The center revealed that for every penny spent by residents of the district, $10 was spent by outside groups. The group arrived at those numbers after excluding candidates’ personal donations. Democratic leader Jon Ossoff raised $8.3 million in the first quarter of 2017, and both sides invested over $14 million in advertising, according to a report last Thursday.

$5.6 million of Ossoff’s donations came from “small donations,” according to the report. Donations are classified as “small” by the Federal Election Commission if they are smaller than $200.

“I’m concerned that the election could be decided by the influences coming from the national level and not from within Georgia,”  director of public affairs for the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Liz Hausmann told The Center for Public Integrity.

The Republican-based Congressional Leadership Fund spent $2.1 million, the National Republican Congressional Committee spent $1.8 million, the National Rifle Association spent just over $61,000 against Ossoff, and Planned Parenthood invested $152,257 in the race against Republicans.

The special election will be decided Tuesday. Political statistician Nate Silver asserted Ossoff was unlikely to earn 50 percent or higher in the race, a bar any candidate has to clear in order to avoid a runoff.

The race will go to a runoff election in June if Ossoff doesn’t reach the 50 percent mark/

President Donald Trump appointed Price as secretary of Health and Human Services in December of 2016, and the special election is to decide who will replace the outgoing Republican. Price’s seat had been considered to be a safe Republican seat, but Democrats invested millions in the race hoping to demonstrate Trump no longer has the support of the electorate.

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