In a contest to raise cash for Republican candidates vying to be the next 9th District U.S. representative, State Sen. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, and State Rep. Tom Graves are neck and neck.
Hawkins, one of the newest members in the race, raised $155,719 in campaign contributions for the most recent reporting period.
And with a loan of $145,320, Hawkins has more than $300,000 for his campaign, according to a report he filed with the Federal Elections Commission this week.
Graves, R-Ranger, has nearly as much cash as Hawkins. A report Graves filed with the commission shows that he raised more than $279,000 by the Sept. 30 reporting deadline. By the deadline, Graves had $193,996 on hand.
Hawkins announced in July that he would seek the seat being vacated by Nathan Deal, who has been a congressman for 13 years. Deal is not seeking re-election for the House seat, as he is running for governor of Georgia in 2010.