Legislative wannabes ignore disclosure requirement
Candidates for the Georgia Legislature must disclose certain info about their personal finances within 15 days of qualifying for office. Apparently, no one explained that to Ron Dodson or Donzella James.
Georgia voters filled seven legislative seats in special elections Tuesday, or chose the candidates who will meet in a runoff. But the required disclosures were filed by front-runners in only three of those races: Sen.-elect Buddy Carter of Pooler, Rep.-elect Ann Purcell of Rincon, and Kip Smith of Columbus, who’s trying to win the House seat once held by his dad, Transportation Commissioner Vance Smith.
But Dodson didn’t, even though he’d filed the reports when he served four previous terms in the House. Nor did James, a five-term veteran before leaving the Legislature to make various unsuccessful runs for Congress. Dodson was elected Tuesday, while James heads into a Dec. 1 runoff.
In House District 141, only the last-place finisher filed a disclosure. There was nothing from top vote-getter Rusty Kidd, a veteran lobbyist whose late father Culver Kidd served decades under the Gold Dome, or the three other candidates.
Second-place finisher Simone Bell filed a disclosure in the race for House District 58. She will be in a runoff with leader Asha Jackson, who did not.
Disclosure forms are relatively simple, asking candidates to declare basic information for the previous year about their job, their business and real estate holdings and those of their spouses.
The penalty for not filing is 75 bucks. The Legislature rejected an effort this year to increase the fine.