Vulnerable Republicans, and a few Democrats, got big money boost

Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, seen here in the 2016 legislative session, was a big benefactor of special interest money. BOB ANDRES  / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, seen here in the 2016 legislative session, was a big benefactor of special interest money. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

There are many reasons incumbents rarely lose primary campaigns. Name recognition is one. The ability to raise money is another. Increasingly, however, a major third reason is the influence of outside groups to boost an incumbent or target a challenger.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday that independent expenditure committees and political action committees poured three-quarters of a million dollars into state legislative primaries in the month before the May 24 primaries.

The biggest benefactor of special interest money was Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, who wound up beating self-funder Aaron Barlow to retain his seat.

While much of the money went to prop up incumbents, some went to help challengers. While Kerstin Liberty failed to upset incumbent House Regulated Industries Committee Chairman Howard Maxwell, R-Dallas, the American Federation for Children spent more than $86,000 to help her.

To learn more about the influence special interest money had on Georgia’s primaries, read the full story here.

 


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