LaTonia Long leads fundraising race among Mableton mayoral candidates

Mar. 15—Ahead of Tuesday's Election Day to choose a mayor and city council for the city of Mableton, candidate LaTonia Long has far outraised two other candidates, according to campaign contribution disclosures.

Long had raised nearly $22,000 as of the March 6 disclosure deadline, ahead of Aaron Carman, who raised roughly $9,600, and Michael Murphy, who raised $6,750.

The fourth candidate in the race, Michael Owens, has not filed a contribution disclosure report with the Cobb elections office, Elections Director Janine Eveler said.

Candidates who fail to file reports can be investigated by the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, which has the power to levy fines and other penalties.

Long leads

As of March 6, Long had spent $14,160 of the $21,940 she raised, leaving her with about $7,775 on hand.

Per Long's disclosures, the money she's raised includes $3,500 that she and her husband loaned to her campaign.

But even if not for those loans, she still would have raised more than Carman and Murphy combined.

Long is a public policy manager and previously worked as chief of staff to state Sen. Gloria Butler, D-Stone Mountain, the chamber's minority leader.

Many of Long's donors are people who also work in state government. Butler herself gave $2,500 to Long's campaign.

Other elected officials who have donated are House Minority Leader James Beverly ($1,000); state Sen. Freddie Powell Sims, D-Dawson ($250); state Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur ($500); state Sen. Tonya Anderson, D-Lithonia ($500); and Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts ($1,000).

Political consultant and lobbyist Josh Mackey donated $3,000 to Long's campaign.

Several other donors gave $1,000 gifts to Long's campaign — Abner Long, a retiree from Atlanta; Charlton Barker, a technology director from Lilburn; Kevin Cook, a real estate developer from Snellville; AJ Jain, a consultant from Atlanta; and Akeasha Branch a Lithonia-based general manager for Live Nation.

The lion's share of Long's expenses have been spent on campaign consultants — $8,100 for Fred Hicks and about $1,555 for Syntel Brown.

Long's other itemized expenses include signs, billboards, T-shirts and print materials.

Other candidates

Carman as of March 6 had raised $9,565 and spent roughly $8,060, leaving about $1,500 on hand.

Align Realty Group, the firm led by his wife Ashley Carman, has donated about $3,000 of in-kind donations by purchasing campaign materials.

Carman has been open about voting against incorporation in the November cityhood referendum, and has been endorsed by the De-Annexation From Mableton Group.

De-annexation leader Christie Lynn has donated $550 to Carman's campaign.

His largest itemized contribution ($1,000) came from Lesleigh Batchelor.

Another donor, Karen Takada, gave several gifts totaling $900.

Other large donations include gifts from A.D. Winters ($700); Mark and Hope Roper ($500); and Matthew Metts ($500).

Denny Wilson, a Cobb GOP vice chair, gave Carman $400.

Carman spent nearly $1,200 on text communications, $400 to purchase voter lists, and other funds on T-shirts, yard signs, door hangers, magnets, a website, and food for events.

Murphy, meanwhile, had raised $6,750 by March 6, spent about $1,370 and had about $5,390 on hand.

His largest donors were E. Lamar Scott of Mableton ($1,500); Dr. Earl Murphy of California ($1,000); and Andrew and Debra Honeycutt ($1,000).

Murphy worked as special assistant to former county Chairman Mike Boyce, who died in January 2022. Boyce's wife, Judy, donated $250 to his campaign.

Boyce's former secretary, Millie Rodgers, gave $200. Former Cobb Planning Commissioner Tony Waybright and his wife donated $200.

Other donors include local activist Sally Riddle ($200); Dr. Caduceus Dawkins ($250); Nehad Abughalyoun of Alpharetta ($500) and Suzanne Touchstone of Austell ($400).

Murphy has spent his campaign funds on marketing, graphics and printing.