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Rep. Emory Dunahoo (HD 30)


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Emory West Dunahoo Jr. (R-Gillsville)


District 30 (Hall County)


dunahoo-2-midsize-800x450Georgia’s small-loan companies are Emory Dunahoo’s most generous campaign donors. He’s raised more than $44,000 from them, or about 30 percent of all his contributions, and seven of his top 10 donors are in the industry. Contributors include Gainesville businessman Jim Walters, a longtime friend of Gov. Nathan Deal and former president of the Georgia Industrial Loan Association (GILA), now known as the Georgia Installment Lenders Association.

Most of these donations are clustered in the spring after each legislative session: $10,250 in 2013, $5,000 in 2014, $4,750 in 2015, and $7,350 in 2016.

GILA has also shelled out $4,312 to host Dunahoo at its last four annual conventions. The lenders reported the expenditures as campaign contributions, though, so they don’t show up in a search of its lobbyists’ spending reports.

Dunahoo sponsored one bill of interest to installment lenders. HB299, signed into law in 2015, allows them to charge borrowers a market-rate convenience fee if they pay online with a credit card, electronic check or electronic funds transfer. The fee does not count toward the 60 percent annual interest rate that small-loan companies may charge in Georgia.

Legislative website

Campaign website

Voting record

Born: 1956

Political career

  • Won a House seat in a 2011 special election runoff, 63-37%, defeating former Hall County Commissioner Bobby Banks.
  • Re-elected in 2012 and 2014 without opposition.
  • Re-elected 74-26% in 2016 over Democratic challenger Michelle Jones.


  • Banks & Banking (2012 – present)
  • Game, Fish, & Parks (2012 – present)
  • Information and Audits (2012 – present)
  • State Properties (2013 – present)
  • Agriculture & Consumer Affairs (2015 – 2016)


  • Retired.

Business ownership interests

  • Head Inc., Oakwood, Ga., real estate holding company

Other fiduciary positions

  • Board member, Innsbruck Country Club, Helen, Ga.

Real estate holdings

  • Personal residence on 22.5 acres in Gillsville valued at $427,000
  • Second home in Helen valued at $131,000
  • 11 acres of unimproved property in Pine Mountain Valley, Ga., valued at $130,000
  • Rental property in Townsend, Tenn., 10 acres with cabin valued at $189,000

Other investments

  • None disclosed.

Payments from state agencies

  • None disclosed.

Friends and Family

  • Dunahoo’s brother-in-law, James Mills, held the same seat in the House for 19 years until 2011, when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Campaign contributions

Dunahoo has raised more than $151,000 in political donations and loaned $2,500 to the campaign, which it has paid back. The breakdown by election cycle:

  • 2011-12: $21,749
  • 2013-14: $58,525
  • 2015-16: $58,450
  • Reported cash on hand (Oct. 2016): $106,257

Top donors

  • $6,700 Ex-Rep. James Mills & other Republican legislators
  • $11,000 Walters Acceptance Corp., small-loan company, & executives Jim Walters & Raleigh Robinson
  • $6,000 James Smith, owner J&J Management Services, small-loan company
  • $5,100 Bumsung Chung, owner Global Labor Solutions
  • $4,500 Wendell Starke, developer Starke Companies
  • $3,600 Security Finance of Spartanburg, small-loan company
  • $3,500 Georgia Industrial Loan Association, small-loan companies
  • $3,350 Stephen B. Cobb, Gainesville, Ga., & his small-loan companies
  • $3,250 Marshall Cobb, Gainesville, Ga., & his small-loan companies
  • $3,250 P.C. [Pat] Mathes III, owner Mathes Finance, small-loan company
  • $3,000 World Acceptance Corp., Greenville, S.C., small-loan company
  • $2,800 Community Bankers Association of Georgia

Campaign reimbursements

  • Dunahoo’s campaign has reimbursed him for $2,547 in expenses for which he did not specify the end recipient, as required by campaign finance rules.

Other campaign spending

  • Dunahoo has paid Southern Magnolia Capital LLC and The Sassafras Group, both founded by Gov. Nathan Deal’s daughter-in-law, Denise, $4,690 for fund-raising fees and expenses.

Campaign-to-campaign donations

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. Dunahoo’s committee made these contributions:

  • 2012: $100
  • 2013-14: $5,270
  • 2015-16: $1,700

Lobbyist freebies

Since 2012, lobbyists have spent more than $8,200 for meals and other gifts for Dunahoo. The total includes more than $4,500 that the Georgia Installment Lenders Association erroneously reported as campaign contributions rather than lobbyist expenses. The big spenders:

  • $4,312 Georgia Installment Lenders Association
  • $1,191 American Federation for Children

Committee days & travel expenses

When out of session, members may collect $173 per diem plus mileage for 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.

  • 2012: $2,296 (11 days)
  • 2013: $1,523 (7 days)
  • 2014: $3,311 (16 days)
  • 2015: $3,368 (15 days)

Posted Oct. 30, 2016





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