he late Rep. Charlie Norwood’s campaign spent more than $63,000 for an event at a Ritz Carlton golf resort two months after he died. On the same weekend, the candidate endorsed by Norwood’s family to succeed the congressman — former state Sen. Jim Whitehead — held a fundraiser at the same hotel, reports and interviews show.
Norwood officials said the events were unrelated and that the Norwood expenditures were for a reservation that had already been booked and could not be canceled. Although they declined requests for documentation, they said the spending did not benefit the Whitehead campaign.
While they say the events were separate, the spending illustrates the extensive mingling between the two Republicans’ political operations. At least six of Norwood’s staffers went on to work in Whitehead’s campaign. At times, they were simultaneously closing out Norwood’s affairs.