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Gov. Nathan Deal has raised more than $600,000 for his re-election campaign next year, spent about half and has about $1.1 million in cash on hand, his campaign disclosure filing revealed Monday.
Deal doesn’t have a formal challenger yet, but he’s building his war chest for battle next year. He raised $613,000 in campaign funding for the reporting period and spent $336,560.
Donors included developers, company executives and other elected officials, along with some Gainesville and Hall County residents.
Delta CEO Richard Anderson and his wife contributed a combined $15,100 to Deal for both the primary and general election.
Deal was elected for his first term in 2010 after a campaign that raised eyebrows along with ethical questions. One controversy he’s put behind him is the Gainesville auto salvage business, which Jimmy Allen, trustee for the governor’s blind trust, said he sold last month.
The business was the source of ethics charges made against the former Hall County congressman in his gubernatorial run. The business was sold for about $4.1 million to Texas-based Copart, said Deal’s lawyer, Randy Evans. Deal and his business partner Ken Cronan earned about $2 million each from the sale and still own the land.
Much of the expense was for campaign consulting, with a March payment to Southern Magnolia Capital LLC of $44,673 and a January payment of $150,000 to The Stoneridge Group LLC. Southern Magnolia, a fundraising company, was founded in 2011 by Denise Deal, the governor’s daughter-in-law. Thousands of dollars were also paid to R. Thompson & Associates LLC and Gainesville consultant Tom Willis.
The report also disclosed several reimbursements to chief of staff Chris Riley, including two payments adding up to about $8,551 for transportation expenses for Deal. Riley is listed as the registered agent for PWWR LLC, which is listed several times for fuel and air time to and from the Gainesville and Atlanta areas.
The campaign also paid $25,000 in legal fees to the firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.