Republican Matt McCord dropped out of the race for Henry County district attorney this week, saying that Democratic mega-donor George Soros forced his hand when he poured money into his Democratic opponent’s candidacy.
Our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin revealed last week that Soros is linked to a political action committee called Georgia Safety & Justice that spent $91,000 so far to support Darius Patillo, a deputy chief assistant DA in DeKalb who is running to be Henry’s top prosecutor.
McCord said in a statement that he couldn’t stomach the threat of “personal attacks on my family and an infusion of negativity” in the campaign from Patillo’s allies.
“After consulting with my family and trusted advisers, it has become clear that we will most likely not be successful against an unlimitedly financed opponent, and I refuse to put my family through what has transpired in other Soros-backed elections,” he said in a statement. McCord has since taken down his Facebook page and his campaign website.
Politico reported that Soros has pumped money into local DA races in at least a half-dozen states aimed at supporting African-American and Hispanic candidates who embrace criminal justice reform initiatives designed to keep more low-level criminals out of prison. Patillo, who is black, put pretrial diversion programs and community outreach at the center of his campaign.
Now a virtual lock to win the November race, Patillo told Channel 2 Action News reporter Mark Winne he didn’t know anything about the Soros money.
“I had never heard of that entity, that organization, and I’ve never received any money from that organization,” he said. “That statement that my opponent made … is simply not true.”