Gay Georgia House candidate raises most cash

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When it comes to cash, an LGBT candidate competing for an Atlanta area seat in the Georgia House has raised and spent more of it than either of her two opponents.

Park Cannon, a self-described queer health advocate who lives in the Old Fourth Ward, led opponents Kwame Thompson and Ralph Long in fundraising for the District 58 seat. Voters head to the polls on Jan. 19 for the special election to replace Simone Bell, the lesbian former lawmaker who resigned the seat in November.

Cannon raised $17,843.46 in donations and in-kind contributions, according to her most recent financial disclosure report. She spent $7,947.96, leaving her with $6,195.50 in cash on hand in the closing days of the race.

Notable contributions included $1,000 from Bell, who urged Cannon to run to replace her; and $250 each from state Reps. Stacey Evans and Pat Gardner. LGBT Atlanta activists also contributed to her campaign, including Glen Paul Freedman ($300), Michael Grover ($250), Juliana Illari ($50) and Colin Wright ($500).

Thompson raised $3,875 in contributions and in-kind donations and reported $3,601 in cash on hand. The contributions included a $1,100 loan Thompson made to the campaign.

Long hasn't filed a report, which was due 15 days before the special election. But that isn't unusual for the controversial former lawmaker, according to Georgia Pol.

The fine for that is $250, so I guess we can mark him down in the negative. Shocked? Don’t be, he’s been fined 17 times before. In fact, he’s been fined a total of $1,425, which is almost impressive.

Cannon's campaign has been endorsed by the Victory Fund and Georgia Equality. On Monday, the Georgia Stonewall Democrats PAC also backed her citing Cannon's “caliber as a successor” to Bell.

Georgia Stonewall Democrats is always pleased to see the commitment to LGBT equality exhibited by candidates for office. Change starts at the community level, and the number of candidates interested in our endorsement indicates a brighter future for LGBT Georgians.

We are especially excited to see the new generation of community leaders offering themselves for service. We have every confidence that Park Cannon will ably represent the neighborhoods of East Atlanta, Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown, Edgewood, Gresham Park, Grant Park, Kirkwood, Ormewood Park and Boulevard Heights.

The GSD endorsement is based upon our assessment of returned candidate questionnaires and a review of the candidate's history of working within and on behalf of the LGBT community, allied organizations and causes. We do not issue ratings for every survey submitted.

Our final endorsement selections are not to be construed as a slight to any candidate who took the time to communicate their issue positions to us.

“Georgia Stonewall continues to be committed to supporting fair-minded Democrats and increasing our equality-driven representation in offices across the state”, says Tim Cairl, Chair for Georgia Stonewall.

The candidates are scheduled to meet during a forum on Tuesday sponsored by the Capitol View Manor Neighborhood Association.

[h/t Georgia Pol]

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