The high (personal) cost of getting elected 

"It's just exhausted," says Gary Horlacher, referring to the weak fund-raising climate for candidates in the 13th District U.S. congressional Democratic primary. Horlacher, a governmental affairs attorney and Gov. Roy Barnes' former press secretary, points to three main reasons for the unusually slow fund-raising pace in the oddly shaped district that includes large portions of Clayton and Fulton counties: the number of worthy candidates in the race, the downturn in the economy, and high-profile races involving Barnes and Max Cleland that have siphoned off a lot of Democratic cash.To make up for the tough fund-raising environment, two of the four candidates, Greg Hecht and David Scott, both former state senators, are digging into their own pockets to finance their election drives. Between March 31 and June 30 alone, Scott, who owns his own advertising company, loaned his campaign $253,000 to bring his total raised to $778,162. The attorney Hecht, meanwhile, loaned his campaign $25,000 during the last filing period and leads the money war with $896,071 raised.

All this means that David Worley, former head of the state Democratic Party, actually outgained his opponents during the last filing period with a modest -- this is a three-month period after all -- $169,514 raised. Former state Sen. Donzella James trails everyone but continues to try to build grassroots support.

All three male candidates still have more than $400,000 at the ready for what figures to be a sprint to the finish line that will most likely be followed by a run-off.


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