Deborah Gonzalez, newly elected to represent Georgia House District 117, began 2018 with $11,466 in her campaign account; and Jonathan Wallace, newly elected to represent Georgia House District 119, began the year with $11,639 in unspent campaign funds.
Gonzalez and Wallace are Democrats. Both the 117th and 119th House Districts are split between Oconee and Clarke counties.
Republican Houston Gaines, who lost to Gonzalez in the special election in November of 2017, had $96,863 in unspent campaign funds at the end of 2017.
Tom Lord, one of three Republicans who ran unsuccessfully in the 119th special election in November, ended 2017 with $18,487 in his campaign account, while fellow Republicans Marcus Wiedower ended the year with $194 and Steven Strickland had $9.
Gonzalez and Wallace will need to defend their seats in November—and possibly even in Democratic primaries in May.
Gaines and Lord can potentially enter the Republican primaries with a significant funding advantage over Gonzalez and Wallace, who are forbidden to accept campaign funds as long as the legislature is in session. The 40-day session started on Monday.
Former state Rep. Doug McKillip, who had considered running in the 117th special election but didn’t, terminated his campaign finance account at the end of 2017 with no unspent funds.
To continue reading, visit Oconee County Observations.