“It does, however, look like we can expect a very competitive four-way race,” Dendy said.
Barr reported total contributions of $251,782 followed by state Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Buckhead), who reported $172,898. Marietta businesswoman Tricia Pridemore reported $143,254 and state Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) reported $97,174.
Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University, said the numbers are good for Lindsey and Pridemore.
“Barr’s fundraising numbers are expected given his national profile,” Swint said. “I expect this to be a dogfight all the way to next June.”
That Pridemore has loaned her campaign $50,000 is not uncommon, Swint said, “but it shows that she understands this will be a money race.”
Since this is a federal race, quarterly reports are due to the Federal Election Commission, which monitors fundraising and spending from U.S. House and Senate races. The winner of this race, which will be decided in next June’s Republican Primary, will likely spend well over $1 million, so the fundraising numbers are important, Swint said.
“Early fundraising reports can sometimes indicate whether or not a particular candidate can be competitive,” he said.
Political analysts, he said, will likely see a hotly contested race between Barr and Lindsey, with Pridemore and Loudermilk trying to get their feet in the door.
“A runoff is extremely likely which will drive the financial cost of the campaign even higher,” Swint said.
Lindsey said it’s not just what is raised, but what he is able to hold onto since the real push comes next year. That said, he is pleased.
“If you drill down you’ll also see that in terms of money raised in Georgia, we actually raised more money in Georgia than any of my opponents also,” Lindsey said. “When you consider the fact that one of my opponents has been raising money for both congressional races and on a national level for over 20 years, and we just started two and half months ago, so we’re very pleased and very gratified from the response we’re getting from folks around the district. It’s a good indicator that our message is resonating.”
Jeff Breedlove, Barr’s campaign manager, said House Speaker John Boehner has confirmed Barr would retain his seniority if he returns to Congress.
“That is one reason so many people are supporting Bob,” Breedlove said. “Seniority matters. When jobs at Lockheed are on the line — the team at Lockheed want Bob and his seniority to fight for those jobs. When the EPA imposes a job- or business–killing regulation on a small business in Cobb County — that small business owner and those employees want Bob’s seniority to fight the EPA.”
Lindsey said he expects more people to enter the race before it’s over.
“The last time this seat was open was 2002, so there is always a lot of pent up ambition when one of these seats opens up, so I would expect before it’s all over with five or six (candidates), and you know, I’m running against at the present time three good people,” Lindsey said.