Georgia’s 6th congressional district is absorbing an abnormal amount of out-of-town cash — and it’s not because of its music scene or southern hospitality.
Since the start of Georgia’s special election early this year, out-of-state groups — super PACS, nonprofits and party committees — have together spent about $26.2 million to sway voters in the district, which has a special election runoff today, with the vast majority favoring the Republican candidate.
Two of the three counties voted for President Donald Trump in November, although polls indicate the Democratic candidate could very well win.
Of the 42 non-candidate groups spending money to influence the election, only five are based in Georgia: Better Georgia, Inc, Engage Georgia, Georgia Life Alliance Action Fund, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund and the Georgia Republican Party.
Collectively, they’ve spent less than $100,000 — veritable pennies in the river of cash swamping the district, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of independent expenditure data provided by the Federal Election Commission.
The campaigns of the candidates competing in today’s runoff — Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff — had spent $3.2 million and $22.5 million, respectively, through the end of May, according to campaign finance reports filed with the FEC.
The influx of out-of-state attention has prompted overwhelming fatigue among residents.
“It’s about as saturated as it could possibly be,” said Brandon Hanick, director of communications for Better Georgia. “There are only so many phone calls” voters can take. Better Georgia has paid for some pro-Ossoff digital ads.