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Sen. Brandon Beach (SD 21): Campaign kept unused $$
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Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta)
District 21 (Cherokee & Fulton counties)
When Brandon Beach first ran for the Senate in 2010, he raised $13,600 to be spent on the general election once he became the Republican nominee. He didn’t make it that far, though, losing a primary runoff by a thin margin.
State law requires candidates to refund contributions raised for an election in which they’re not on the ballot. Beach’s campaign kept those donations in his campaign account, using some for expenses and rolling the rest over to his 2012 race. State law may allow some of that money to be reallocated after the fact to cover 2010 primary or runoff expenses, but at least $8,400 could not be redesignated since it came from donors who had reached contribution limits for those races.
Beach said he had no idea the money should have been refunded.
“If I made any mistakes, it was unintentional,” he said. “If I made a mistake, it’s a mistake, and I’ll correct it.”
Donations that were over the limit for the 2010 primary and runoff included: $3,600 from the Georgia Highway Contractors Association, $2,400 from C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., $1,200 from former Rep. Mark Burkhalter and $1,200 from Wellington Healthcare. (Beach refunded $2,400 to the highway contractors a few weeks after we published this article.)
- Served 2000-04 as a member of the Alpharetta City Council.
- Appointed in 2004 to the board of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.
- Elected in 2008 to the state Transportation Board by legislators from the 6th Congressional District.
- Ran for the Senate in 2010, losing a primary runoff to John Albers by 201 votes.
- Won 41% of the vote in a 2012 primary challenge to Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers.
- Won a Senate seat 58-42% over former Rep. Sean Jerguson in a 2013 special election; re-elected in 2014 with no opposition.
- Re-elected in 2016 after winning the Republican primary 58-42%.
- Economic Development (2013 – present; 2015 – present)
- MARTA Oversight (2015 – present)
- Regulated Industries & Utilities (2015- present)
- Science and Technology (2013 – present)
- Transportation (2013 – present)
- Government Oversight (2013 – 2014)
- President & CEO, Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce
- None disclosed.
- Board member, North Fulton Hospital
- Board member, Encore Park for the Arts
- Board member, Alpharetta Public Safety Foundation
- None disclosed.
Real estate holdings
- Personal residence in Alpharetta, valued at $289,000
Business with state government
- None disclosed.
Friends and family
- Retired Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz endorsed Beach’s 2013 bid for the Senate.
- Beach’s campaign has paid $38,981 since 2013 to two fund-raising firms founded by Denise Deal, daughter-in-law of Gov. Nathan Deal.
Beach has raised more than $907,000 in political donations and loaned his campaign $15,000. The breakdown by election cycle:
- 2009-10: $190,984
- 2011-12: $116,560
- 2013 special election: $51,325
- 2013-14: $147,990
- 2015-16: $400,475
- Reported cash on hand (Oct. 2016): $4,785
- $43,400 Sen. David Shafer & other Republican legislators
- $35,950 Jackson Healthcare, hospital & nursing home staffing
- $21,000 C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. & executives
- $18,000 Yancey Brothers Co., heavy equipment sales
- $14,500 Select Management Resources Inc., title pawn lender
- $13,600 John D. Stephens, pipeline contractor
- $11,000 Coca-Cola & the Georgia Beverage Association
- $10,800 Georgia Highway Contractors Association
- $10,400 Eden Innovations LLC, Littleton, Colo., concrete manufacturer
- $10,200 Patricia Phelan, Milton, Ga., retired
- $10,200 Russell Landscaping Group, Dacula, Ga.
- $10,000 Wellington Healthcare, nursing homes
- $9,650 Dentons/McKenna Long & Aldridge, law/lobbying firm
- $9,000 Mark Hennessy, owner Hennessy Automotive Group
- $9,000 Reeves Young LLC / Reeves Contracting Co.
- $7,500 Orkin & Associates LLC, pest control
- $7,000 Georgia Power / Atlanta Gas Light
- $7,000 Penn Hodge, real estate developer, Duluth, Ga.
- $6,750 RELX / Reed Elsevier / LexisNexis / Choice Point
- $6,600 Virgil Williams, Suwanee, Ga., government contractor
- $6,500 HNTB Holdings Ltd., Kansas City, Mo., engineering
- $6,100 Brand Partners LLP
- $6,000 United Parcel Service
- $5,500 Regent Partners, real estate development & acquisition
- $5,200 AT&T
- $5,150 Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
- $5,000 Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Center, Ball Ground, Ga.
- $5,000 Mahaffey Pickens Tucker LLP, Lawrenceville, Ga., law firm
- $4,854 Label Source Inc., Norcross, Ga., printing
- $4,850 InVesta Services LLC, Atlanta, Ga., delinquent tax collections
Campaign to campaign
Candidates may make political donations with campaign funds, allowing prolific fund-raisers to share their contributions with other legislators or candidates. Some advocacy groups believe such transfers should be limited to an aggregate of $10,000 per election cycle. Beach’s committee made these donations:
- 2009-10: $3,500
- 2011-12: $500
- 2013-14: $31,100
- 2015-16: $2,900
Lobbyists have reported paying for meals and other gifts valued at more than $9,000 for Beach. The big spenders:
- $1,754 Georgia Chamber of Commerce
- $1,412 Google
- $367 Mathews & Maxwell Inc.
- $311 Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
- $282 Dentons/McKenna Long & Aldridge
- $275 Perimeter CID
- $274 Parsons Brinckerhoff
Committee days & travel
When out of session, lawmakers may collect $173 per diem plus mileage for committee meetings or other official business. Lawmakers living within 50 miles of the Capitol are taxed on these payments, which were originally intended to cover out-of-town members’ food and lodging.
- 2013: $1,464 (7 days)
- 2014: $3,406 (13 days)
- 2015: $2,904 (12 days)
Updated Dec. 2, 2016