Last fall, the political world in Georgia was buzzing with news that a strong local challenger had emerged to take on Speaker David Ralston. Various interests at the Capitol, who felt slighted under Ralston’s leadership, were giddy about the possibility of ousting the sitting Speaker.
But with campaign disclosure numbers now available for review, reality is setting in that the big fight between Speaker Ralston and newcomer Sam Snider is really a big flop.
Ralston’s six-figure haul dwarfs Snider’s handful of contributions totaling $3,995 ($3,260.98 Cash on Hand) in a district where the Blue Ridge Republican is a household name. With $291,713 in donations and $535,724 Cash on Hand, Ralston will have more than enough in his campaign coffers to make the case for re-election leading up to the Republican Primary in May.
From the beginning, most political handicappers believed that Ralston would emerge from the Republican Primary with a victory. But these reports are astonishing! Snider’s finance report is surprisingly poor given all the hype about his candidacy from certain quarters.
Only four Snider donors exceeded the $100 threshold required for reporting. Of those four, only two are from the district. There was not a surge of contributions under $100 (thus avoiding donors being disclosed) from the district or around the state.
Clearly, detractors within the Capitol crowd have failed to coalesce around Snider’s candidacy. Even more so, Ralston’s constituents obviously like having the Speaker of the House as their Representative in the State Capitol.
In fairness, it’s clear Ralston is serious about winning his seat and continuing as Speaker and he knows he’s got to win the district first. He’s been more engaged in local events and the people around his district say they are seeing more of him around “home” and they like it.
Those looking for election year fireworks will likely have to focus on the Senate race.
Stay tuned to zpolitics for more on this race and others during the 2014 Election Cycle!
Martha Zoller is the editor in chief for zpolitics and the co-host of Georgia's Morning News with Zoller and Bryant on Fox News WGAU and syndicated around the state.