Length of campaigns, dollars influence local elections

Last week the final campaign contribution reports were quietly submitted to the state ethics commission. It’s boring stuff I assure you. Being an armchair political wonk, I found myself combing through reports from Alpharetta and Milton. I didn’t notice any 11th hour contributions that stood out. A few other things did jump out at me.


I’ve forgotten most of my college statistics class. But it seems pretty clear that dollars spent on local campaigns correlate to votes. It’s expensive to get your message to the electorate. Candidates dropped thousands on newspaper ads, mailings and robocalls.

Milton newcomer Lance Large spent a staggering amount of money (24 large) for a simple council seat… and won. David Belle Isle dropped the most cash in Alpharetta.

Length of Campaign

It’s also worth noting that both Belle Isle and Large ran lengthy campaigns. Both were among the first candidates in north Fulton to announce. Could this be a trend in the future?


I’ve listed consultants when I see evidence of a campaign sending money their way. Nearly every establishment candidate had at least one professional working on their behalf. One interesting note is Fred Hicks at HEG. Four years ago he worked for Alan Tart and Julie Zahner Bailey. This time around he worked to defeat them. It’s all business I suppose. Then again, Hicks is building a pretty good track record in Milton.

Alpharetta/Milton Campaign Spending




David Belle Isle


Red Salt

Doug DeRito


Fred Hicks/HEG, Eamon Keegan

Jim Paine


Landmark Communications




Jim Gilvin



Cheryl Oakes


RP Communications, Eamon Keegan




Donald Mitchell


Eamon Keegan

Ron Carter






Michael Cross


Red Salt

Hans Appen






Matt Kunz



Julie Zahner Bailey






Lance Large


HEG/Fred Hicks, Razors Consulting

Alan Tart



Page 1 of 2 | Next page