State political races for 2022 are already heating up and some candidates are getting out ahead in campaign fundraising.
State Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, has nearly $2 million on hand as of June 30, about five weeks after he announced his campaign for lieutenant governor.
The next highest fundraisers for lieutenant governor in the 2022 race are all from the Democratic Party. State Rep. Erick Allen, D-Smyrna, has about $99,000 on hand, Kolbey Gardner, a campaign strategist from Atlanta, has $110,000 and House Rep. Derrick Jackson, D-Tyrone, has about $70,500 on hand.
No other candidates have raised more than $20,000.
Miller announced his campaign shortly after Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said that he would not seek re-election. Miller has served as a state senator for District 49 since 2011.
In comparison, Duncan had only about $304,000 at this point in his campaign by June 30, 2017. David Shafer, who lost to Duncan in a primary runoff in 2018, had nearly $900,000 on hand at the same time.
So far, Miller is far out-pacing anyone from this year’s race and candidates in 2018 who announced about as early as Miller did.
“We’re just getting started,” Miller wrote in a statement. “We’re traveling the state, we’re getting a tremendous response, and these numbers tell that story.”
Hall County Commissioner Shelly Echols is running for Miller’s soon-to-be-vacant state senate seat. No other candidates have yet emerged to run against Echols.
She has raised about $117,000 as of June 30, and she announced her candidacy in late May.