Clayton’s Note: This post was filed under the author “Administrator”, but is not my work. It was provided by a trusted source who requested anonymity, but Erick and I can vouch for the provenance of the information.
From Jay Hanley, Secretary, Oconee County Republican Party, former member of the Oconee County Board of Elections and two-time candidate for Watkinsville City Council.
Nine weeks out from the Nov. 7 election, it appears that the battle for House District 115 (the Athens-based seat that Jane Kidd is vacating to run for state Senate 46) is shaping up to be a battle between an Independent, attorney and civic leader E.H. Culpepper and Democrat attorney Doug McKillip. A third lawyer, Republican Regina Quick, was a late entrant in the race, filing during the court-ordered extended qualifying period resulting from Kidd’s redistricting lawsuit.
As of June 30, McKillip had over $70,000 cash on hand ($50,000 was a candidate loan). It should be noted that he had been fundraising for almost a year before challengers emerged. Culpepper reported $1,300 cash on hand. However, he had only been raising money for a few weeks before the report was filed. Quick listed a ZERO balance in her campaign fund, and did not list an active campaign committee.
McKillip appears to have the backing of the traditional liberal constituency of Athens. It is said that Culpepper will draw support from longtime Athens residents and the business community, as well as conservative Democrats and many Republicans. Culpepper and McKillip both have name identification in Athens-Clarke County, having run for office previously. Some Republicans have reportedly been unimpressed with Quick and plan to vote for Culpepper. It is difficult to see Quick gaining much ground unless her fundraising and name identification improves.
However, Quick may draw enough support to force a Culpepper-McKillip runoff in December. Runoffs are already expected in crowded races for Athens-Clarke Mayor and commission seats. I believe that a Culpepper victory would be a win for the Republicans in the state House, although Culpepper vows to remain an Independent if elected.
[Editor’s note] As we hear it, Quick still had not appointed a Treasurer or registered with Ethics to receive donations as of the middle of this week.