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Georgia, Tennessee Races Already States' Costliest Ever

Planned Parenthood's state political arm endorsed Cuomo over Nixon.

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Nia Prater and Madelaine Pisani
July 12, 2018, 11:04 a.m.

GA GOV: “Financial reports released this week show the race to succeed Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) has become the costliest race for that office in state history, with nearly four months left before November. … [T]he seven contenders in the race, now whittled down to two Republicans and one Democrat, raised and loaned themselves roughly $33 million.”

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) “led the pack with a total take of more than $10.5 million. His runoff opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, struggled to keep pace and raised roughly $4.5 million overall.”

Former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) “has taken advantage of the bruising Republican runoff to restock her campaign funds. Abrams has raised roughly $6 million overall, with no need to spend on a runoff.” (WSB-TV)

MA GOV: The race is “so understated that it is being overshadowed by not one, but two congressional races.”

While Gov. Charlie Baker (R) “entered the race for reelection with high approval ratings, running against competition that did not seem particularly daunting on paper. Yes, he always figured to outraise his opponents by a significant margin. But he’s still a Republican in a state with approximately 27 registered Republican voters. Surely the Democratic Party — if only out of institutional pride — would put up a good fight against his reelection.”

“Baker’s campaign announced this week … that it has reserved $4.3 million in television time this fall, with more to come. To put that number into perspective,” state budget chief Jay Gonzalez (D) “has a bit under $200,000 in cash on hand” and environmentalist Bob Massie (D) “has $29,000 in the bank.”

“Money is not necessarily a foolproof measure of campaign strength by any means. But it’s surprising that politically active Democrats have shown their candidates so little support. Baker is preparing an air war, while his opponents are barely raising enough to run a campaign for Boston City Council.” (Boston Globe)

NH GOV: State Solutions, Inc, a group affiliated with the RGA, released a digital ad praising Gov. Chris Sununu (R) for his support of all-day kindergarten. “The new 15-second ad says Sununu ‘led the effort for full-day kindergarten, allocating millions more to our public schools … more time in the classroom for our kids, ensuring a brighter future.’” (WMUR)

NY GOV: Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts endorsed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic Primary against actress Cynthia Nixon.

“PPESA President Robin Chappelle Golston said in a release Wednesday that legal abortion ‘hangs in the balance’ with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.” (AP)
“As if the contrast between [Nixon and Cuomo] needed more clarity, it got some this week. Nixon … said she identifies as a democratic socialist and is actively courting the endorsement of the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.”

“Ahead of a Monday campaign finance reporting deadline, the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates are seeking to boost the number of small-dollar contributors to their campaign in unorthodox ways, as reliance on large donations becomes a progressive bugbear. Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, along with her older sister Mariah, is a headliner for a ‘special happy hour’ this Saturday in the Hamptons in support of the reelection campaign of her father, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Michaela will not turn 21 until August.” (Politico)

RI GOV: “A California-based private equity firm has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine to federal regulators over allegations that it made an improper contribution to” Gov. Gina Raimondo's (D) campaign.

“The settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission centers on a $1,000 donation from an Oaktree Capital Management executive to the former state general treasurer's campaign for governor in September 2014. The SEC said in its order issued Tuesday that the donation violated its ban on ‘pay-to-play’ contributions to officials who oversee state investment funds. Records show Raimondo's campaign refunded the donation the next month.” (AP)

SC GOV: State Rep. James Smith (D) criticized Gov. Henry McMaster (R) Wednesday for not taking a stronger stance on President Trump’s tariffs: "Job-killing tariffs are killing us. It will hurt our competitiveness. Years of efforts of previous governors are at risk. ... It’s a question of leadership and a governor who will stand up and say they’re against job-killing tariffs. As governor, I’ll be there to make sure we’re not 30th in business, that we address our roads, high utility rates, schools. We need a more competitive tax structure.”

McMaster: “A lot of these measures have been proposed, not implemented. This is a work in progress. I understand what the president is trying to do. And I support that he wants to see we have fair trade around the country.” (Spartanburg Herald-Journal)

TN GOV: “Four leading Republican candidates have spent a record-shattering $33.5 million so far in the bruising primary for governor in Tennessee, with each unleashing about $33 million combined from their own bank accounts. … The two leading Democrats, meanwhile, have joined in by contributing $1.5 million in personal money combined, and have spent $3.7 million.”

“The title of costliest governor's race had been held by the $27 million contest in 2010 … That total has already been topped with months to go before November.”

Former state cabinet member Randy Boyd (R) “has added $14.2 million of his own money, including $8.2 million since April, and has spent $15.7 million. Rep. Diane Black (R) has added $10.3 million in personal funds and spent $10.3 million. Businessman Bill Lee (R) has contributed $5.3 million, spending $4.7 million. House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) has loaned $3.1 million, spending $2.6 million.”

“While tapping into $33 million in personal money, the four Republicans have raised $12.9 million combined: Boyd, with $4.8 million; Lee, with $3.1 million; Black, with $2.7 million; and Harwell, with $2.3 million, including about $894,600 transferred from her other political committees. They all remain flush with cash ahead of the Aug. 2 primary election — Lee has the most, with $3.6 million remaining, and Black has the least, with $2.6 million cash on hand.”

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D) “has contributed $743,000 of his own cash and spent $3.1 million, with $1.4 million left on hand. House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D) has loaned his campaign $766,000, spent $624,700 and ended with $467,300 remaining. Outside of the money they personally contributed, Dean has raised $3.8 million and Fitzhugh has brought in $624,700.” (AP)

Harwell released a new TV ad that “takes aim at squabbling among her Republican gubernatorial rivals Randy Boyd, Diane Black, and Bill Lee, while calling her ‘the adult in the room.’” (Tennessee Journal)

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