The race to represent Atlanta's state House District 59, which stretches from Poncey-Highland through southeast Atlanta and toward the airport, will end on Tuesday with a runoff election. It's probably the priciest district race in Georgia this year, with donations to all candidates totaling more than $400,000.
That’s a lot of money when you consider the salary is about $17,300
a year. And that Democrats — the only kind of viable candidate in the deep blue House District 59 — are such a minority in the GOP-dominated statehouse that their power is pretty limited.
Both Janine Brown
and David Dreyer
have said they want to see
more school funding, better transit and more jobs in their district, though they rank the issues a little differently. Voters ranked the two pretty close together in the first round of voting: Brown took 1,650 votes to Dreyer's 1,610. Third-place finisher Josh Noblitt was knocked out of the race with 896 votes.
Brown's professional history — she spent years as a union rep — is reflected in her labor-heavy list of top donors
, as added up by Atlanta Unfiltered. She had raised about $140,000 through June 30. Dreyer, an attorney, has also attracted cash from fellow legal eagles
. His donations totaled up to around $200,000 through June 30.
The three campaigns — Brown, Dreyer, and Noblitt — raised in total more than $419,000 through the first half of this year. Atlanta Unfiltered, which spends a lot of time counting this kind of stuff
, contends the contest might be the priciest state House race this year.
Oh, and the Democrat-on-Democrat race is getting testy too.
Candidate David Dreyer says he’s disappointed in an ad from Janine Brown that claims he took money from Georgia Power after promising not to take money from the utility. The ad cites a $500 donation from a man who works for Georgia Power. (FWIW, donors have to disclose their employer whether they are a CEO or on their first day of a new job.) Dreyer said it bothered him that the name of his neighbor and colleague in the leadership of the Grant Park Conservancy was put in the ad.
“We have not gone negative and we are not going to go negative. This is a Democratic primary,” said Dreyer.
Casie Yoder, Brown’s campaign manager, said the piece was definitely “tough,” but they contend the employee is fairly high up in the company.
Voting closes on July 26. Voters who live in the district should doublecheck their registration status, as well. During the primary, Fulton County gave the wrong ballots to as many as 60 voters
on the south end of the district, and lately sent erroneous new voter registration cards to a handful of voters in Summerhill. It’s not a lot of votes, but enough to cause a stink if the runoff is close.