Republican David Shafer raised $900,000 in his bid for lieutenant governor, among the largest initial fundraising hauls ever for a candidate for Georgia’s No. 2 job.
One of his top rivals, state Sen. Rick Jeffares, reported collecting more than $350,000 in the month since he entered the race. It was a surprising total for a low-profile candidate who didn’t launch his bid to succeed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle until late May.
A third Republican, state Rep. Geoff Duncan, raised about $230,000 and loaned himself another $100,000. No Democrat has formally announced for the office, though ex-state Sen. Doug Stoner is said to be considering a bid.
John Isakson, who chairs Shafer’s campaign, said in a statement that the Duluth Republican’s “relentless” style is paying off.
“Other than my father, I haven’t seen anyone work this hard or be this focused in a campaign,” said Isakson.
Shafer, the Senate’s pro tem, has racked up endorsements from GOP mega-donor Bernie Marcus, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens and all five members of the Public Service Commission in an effort to establish himself as the front-runner.
It hasn’t scared off his opponents yet. Jeffares has the backing of Rep. Drew Ferguson and state Sen. Burt Jones. And Duncan, a Cumming businessman, has crisscrossed the state lining up support for his bid. A fourth Republican, state Sen. Steve Gooch, is exploring a run.