Despite meager competition, Ga. congressmen spent millions on reelection bids

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Voters walk to a polling place as ballots are cast during a special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District at North Fulton Government Service Center on June 20, 2017 in Sandy Springs, Georgia. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The money went to luxury fishing trips on the Chesapeake Bay, fundraisers at D.C.’s poshest restaurants and a 75th-birthday blowout at the Tabernacle in Atlanta.

There were also tickets to the Masters golf tournament and a hotel room in the Virgin Islands, not to mention a stable of high-level campaign and social media consultants.

Georgia’s U.S. House members faced only token opposition at the ballot box last year, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the way they spent campaign money.

The state’s 13 incumbent representatives collectively spent more than $12.9 million in the two years leading up to last year’s election, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of federal campaign finance records. All of them cruised to re-election by at least 20 percentage points in November, some without any major-party opposition in the general election.

Read the whole story on myAJC: Georgia congressmen spent millions while cruising to re-election

The granular details reported in public filings paint a vivid picture of Washington’s permanent campaign culture — the nonstop mixers, strategy sessions and message rollouts that keep D.C. churning.

The undisputed master of Georgia’s political money game was former U.S. Rep. Tom Price. The then-Roswell congressman spent almost $2.5 million in 2015 and 2016, nearly twice as much as the state’s second-biggest spender in the House. That was despite the fact that his virtually unknown Democratic opponent did not spend a dime on the race beyond Georgia’s $5,220 qualifying fee.

Read more: Before Cabinet ascent, Price was Georgia’s biggest campaign spender


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