Apr. 21—Steve McMahan, a 68-year-old retired laborer from Ringgold, Georgia, doesn't believe most Republicans have what it takes to stop Democrats in Congress from "destroying our country."
But there is one congresswoman he thinks has that fight in her — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome.
"It kind of seems like Marjorie stands on her own in that sense," McMahan said. "I like what she stands for ... She's a lot like Trump. I'm a Donald Trump man, too. I'm not a liberal Democrat God-hating communist. That's what the rest of them are. A lot of Republicans are the same way. I know people up there hate her guts, and that's why I like her."
McMahan isn't alone in thinking Greene could use some support these days.
In the first three months of 2021, Greene raised $3.2 million from donors across the country, more than any other Republican in the House. In those months, she was kicked off her legislative committees and was tied up in controversies for things she said and posted online, apologizing for some of them but never losing support from her base.
After a review of more than 1,600 pages of campaign donations Greene and her campaign filed last week, the Times Free Press found that most of the donations came from outside of her 14th District in Northwest Georgia.
In the financial report, about $654,000 of the donations were itemized. Federal campaign law requires candidates to publicly report donations that exceed $200. Searching through the itemized donations by ZIP code, fewer than 10% of the donors came from the 14th District.
The local donations came from a variety of sources, including a mill worker at Shaw Industries, Precision Products machine parts in Dalton and retired residents in Summerville, Sugar Valley and Ringgold.
McMahan, asked why he felt he needed to support Greene with his $300 donation, said he felt the political insiders and people in Washington were against her, and so he felt like she needed his help.
"I love Marjorie Taylor Greene, and I'll vote for her again," he said. "I just felt like they were all against her. Those people want to make this a socialist, communist country and she stands up against that stuff."
McMahan said he might be in the minority when it comes to supporting Greene, but it all depends on who you ask.
Greene's $3.2 million haul in three months is more than she raised during her entire 2020 campaign. By comparison, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Ooltewah, raised $166,615 during the same period.
In the House, the only member who raised more than Greene was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who brought in $4 million.
Greene now has four competitors — all Democrats — for the 2022 race: Marcus Flowers, Holly McCormack, Brittany Trambauer-Smith and Lateefah Conner. All four candidates filed their own disclosures, and the money they collected pales in comparison.
Flowers raised the most with $470,000. As with Greene, he had significant out-of-state support, such as from Massachusetts and California. He was followed by McCormack with $84,580, Trambauer-Smith with $34,500 and Conner at just over $22,000.
Debby Peppers is the chair of the Whitfield County Democratic Party. Peppers contributed to Flowers' campaign after he came to speak at a recent party meeting. She said she was impressed by how well-versed Flowers was in local politics and that he showed common sense abilities that Greene "totally lacks."
"I think she's out of touch with what people here think and believe," Peppers said. "We need someone a little more normal. I think she's an extremist, and I don't believe this is an extremist part of the country."
Peppers said she feels like the 14th District doesn't have any representation after Greene was kicked off her committees. Although she wasn't surprised by the amount Greene was able to pull in, she noted that most of the donations came from out of state.
"Unfortunately, those people are looking for an extreme representative that can be their mouthpiece, and they'll come from all over to support her," she said. "I certainly hope that is a minority opinion. I don't think most people support or think the views she expresses are the views of most people."
Contact Patrick Filbin at email@example.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.