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Tamar Hallerman

Who are Jim Barksdale’s donors? Mostly, his relatives

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May 6, 2016:   U.S Senate democratic candidate Jim Barksdale reviews his notes before the taking part in the Atlanta Press Club Loudermilk Young Debate Series at the GPB studio in Atlanta May 6, 2016.  BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

U.S Senate Democratic candidate Jim Barksdale reviews his notes before the taking part in the Atlanta Press Club debate in Atlanta on May 6, 2016. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

More than four-fifths of the money Jim Barksdale’s Senate campaign raised last month came from the Atlanta investment manager’s relatives.

An analysis of the Georgia Democrat’s recent federal filings show that at least $24,300 of the roughly $29,000 in contributions his campaign reported for the period between April 1 and May 4 came from close relatives, including Barksdale’s son and mother. Several of those family members gave the maximum donation allowed under the law of $5,400, half of which is earmarked for the general election.

Barksdale’s campaign reported it had roughly $968,000 on hand leading into the final weeks before the three-person Democratic primary on May 24. Much of that money came from a $1.1 million loan the millionaire investment manager gave himself in March.

His campaign dramatically ramped up spending in recent weeks, shelling out more than $146,000 in April, roughly the same amount U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson reported expending in that period. (The Isakson campaign said it received nearly $161,000 in contributions in April, kicking off May with more than $5.9 million in the bank.)

Nearly one-third of Barksdale’s spending went to direct mailing last month. He spent 24 percent of his disbursements on telemarketing and several thousand dollars on Facebook ads.

“Jim is meeting voters ahead of the primary, spreading his message of getting rid of wasteful spending, bad trade deals and instead investing to create good jobs here in Georgia,” Dave Hoffman, Barksdale’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

Barksdale has recently scaled up his public outreach after staying curiously silent for weeks after he qualified in March. He unveiled his first TV ad last week, prominently featuring what promises to be a signature touring cap

Campaign filings for Barksdale’s two Democratic opponents, businessman John Coyne and project manager Cheryl Copeland, were not available.