Paper: Heath Hit with Ethics Complaint
The complaints stem from a campaign committee’s support of State Sen. Bill Heath, who faces two opponents in his bid for office.
Just days after Secretary of State Brian Kemp allowed one candidate to remain in the District 31 State Senate race, the incumbent in the election faces an ethics complaint that focuses on his bid to remain in office.
The complaint, as published Sunday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jim Galloway in his Political Insider column, was filed by Cecelia H. McMichen of Dallas. It claims that State Sen. Bill Heath’s campaign coordinated with an independent committee known as the Georgia Republican Senate Caucus Promotion PAC to create “a carefully orchestrated campaign together.” Georgia Code 21-5-3 defines an
"independent committee" as “any committee, club, association, partnership, corporation, labor union, or other group of persons, other than a campaign committee, political party, or political action committee, which receives donations during a calendar year from persons who are members or supporters of the committee and which expends such funds either for the purpose of affecting the outcome of an election for any elected office or to advocate the election or defeat of any particular candidate.”
The complaint alleges that as an independent committee, the political action committee must meet certain conditions and “cannot be made with the cooperation or consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate or any of his agents or authorized committees.” It also alleges that Heath’s participation in another PAC included contributions that exceeded campaign limits.
A copy of the complaint, as posted by Galloway in his column, is attached to this article.
“There have been several groups who have helped in this campaign independently. I was unaware of these efforts in advance and I did not coordinate in any way with any independent group,” Heath wrote in an email to Dallas-Hiram Patch.
Heath, a Republican from Bremen, is facing in Tuesday’s GOP primary two challengers from Dallas—J.K. Rogers and Bill Carruth, the latter of whom survived a challenge to his candidacy. A Dallas resident had challenged Carruth’s candidacy, claiming that the candidate had not resided in the district for the legally prescribed amount of time and owed taxpayers more than $2.3 million.
Paulding County voters will join residents in Haralson and Polk counties in weighing in on the District 31 race Tuesday. The candidate who earns 50 percent plus one vote of the ballots cast will be declared a winner; if no candidate earns that total, the top two vote-getters will enter a runoff next month.
Return to Dallas-Hiram Patch for more election coverage, including up-to-the-minute coverage of Tuesday’s results.
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