Nunn has also received a $5,200 from Tom Cousins, former chief executive officer of Cousins Properties Inc. (CUZ) and a developer who helped shape downtown Atlanta in the 1970s and 1980s. Cousins donated $50,800 to the RNC and $5,000 to Romney. Life-long Republican donor Jim Geiger, chairman of the Atlanta-based telecommunications company Cbeyond Inc. (CBEY), will also be holding a fundraiser for Nunn later this year. Arthur Blank, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons and co-founder of Home Depot Inc. (HD), has given $5,200 to Nunn's campaign. Blank has donated money to members of both parties but recently donated $3,000 to Senator Johnny Isakson's (R. GA) 2010 re-election bid.Signs of the Republican Party rift between business and the Tea Party are showing up where Democrats most want to see them: in the campaign account of Michelle Nunn, daughter of four-term Georgia Senator Sam Nunn.
“The vast majority of Americans say they don’t want the government to shut down, they want middle ground,” said John Wieland, founder of John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods Inc., who together with his wife penned checks totaling $10,400 to Nunn’s Democratic U.S. Senate bid. In the 2010 midterms, the Wielands each gave $4,800 to the Republican Senate candidate.
“Michelle understands that middle ground, and that’s why we wrote the checks,” Wieland said.
It’s a sentiment shared by some business donors from Virginia to Arkansas, and one Democrats want to spread as the parties vie for control of the Senate in the 2014 midterms.
Nunn, 46, is running for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss, and her opponent has yet to be determined. Eight Republicans are competing in a June 3 primary, including three U.S. House members who supported the ill-fated plan to link defunding Obamacare to lifting the debt ceiling and passing a government spending bill. Their efforts led to a 16-day shutdown that Standard & Poor’s estimated cost the U.S. economy $24 billion.
In addition to Wieland, Nunn’s donors include Jim Cox Kennedy, the chairman of Atlanta-based communications company Cox Enterprises Inc., who contributed $2,600 to her candidacy, after giving $30,800 to the Republican National Committee and $5,000 to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. - Bloomberg, 10/30/13
Nunn has quite a background raising money from big donors during her time as CEO of the charity Points Of Light. These donors will come in handy. She's been slamming the GOP for the shutdown and this will hurt Congressmen Jack Kingston (R. GA), Paul Broun (R. GA) and Phi Gingrey's (R. GA) chances. Nunn's momentum has been holding strong:
And Nunn doesn't just have momentum when it comes to fundraising:The biggest news, though, has been the latest fundraising results, in which Nunn outdistanced all other contenders in either party — by nearly $1 million over the next most successful candidate. That nearly ensures her nomination, because the other Democratic hopefuls, Branko Radulovacki and Steen Miles have raised too little to even gain name recognition, much less dampen Nunn’s momentum.
“I’m very impressed with $1.7 million. It’s very credible,” said Calvin Smyre, a Columbus legislator and former Democratic Party chairman who has tried for years to convince Nunn to run. “The fact that she’s raised what she’s raised and putting together a statewide network, I feel like it’s Democrats’ best opportunity.”
She’ll have enough of a primary to get news coverage, exposure in debates and the opportunity to run unchallenged ads defining herself while the Republicans are using up all of their money beating each other up. But she’ll have a huge cash reserve for the general election while the GOP nominee will need to devote attention to raising more.
Speaking of fights, Nunn supporters believe she got a little boost from the government shutdown.
“From a political standpoint, I think that helps her,” Smyre said.
A survey released last week by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling showed Nunn even against an unnamed GOP opponent and six points ahead when the question says the Republican supported the shutdown. Some Republicans have questioned the poll’s methodology, but even if it’s off by a handful of points, it shows she’s in the game.
As an outsider, she will argue she’s not part of the dysfunction in Congress and that, instead, her experience as the head of a national, bipartisan charity demonstrates the ability to bring people together. Of course, gaining agreement among people volunteering for a charity is easier than deal-making among ideological opposites over the federal budget, health care and taxes. - Online Athens, 10/19/13
Georgia is one of our best pick up opportunities and Nunn's looking more and more like a winning candidate. If you would like to donate or get involved with Nunn's campaign, you can do so here:One veteran political operative who recently joined her staff said he’s never seen so many volunteers in a campaign headquarters this early in a race.
Smyre senses the excitement as well.
“I can feel upbeat and the interest in her election,” he said. “I felt it all along, but what happened in Washington and the fundraising has must made it more so.” - Savannah Now, 10/21/13