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Newton Republican sheriff, DA candidates show funding advantage over rivals
Campaign finance disclosures showed big edge in cash on hand going into campaigns' final month
Voters line up
Newton County advance voters line up Friday, Oct. 23, outside the Newton County Administration Building in downtown Covington. - photo by Tom Spigolon

COVINGTON, Ga. — The latest campaign finance disclosures show Republican candidates for two local offices in Newton County had sizable funding advantages on their opponents going into the final month before the Nov. 3 General Election.

All candidates also received contributions from a variety of sources, ranging from themselves to some area elected officials in the three-month period ending Sept. 30, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Newton County Board of Elections and Registration.

Incumbent Sheriff Ezell Brown, a Democrat, reported $29,400 in contributions during the latest reporting period covering July 1 through Sept. 30, and the same amount of contributions overall throughout the year.

His expenditures during the period, July 1 to Sept. 30, totaled $26,398 for mailers, advertisements and other campaign needs — leaving him $3,001 on hand on Sept. 30.  

The campaign’s top contribution was a $5,000 loan Brown made to himself from The Brown Group, which is a masonry contractor and residential property management company Brown has operated since 1976.

Brown’s top contributors also included convenience store operators Krunal Patel of Jonesboro, KMW Best Value of Riverdale, the JK Group of Companies LLC of Spalding County, and Friends Group 2020, doing business as AK Express in Macon; amusements company Epic Amusement of Spalding County; and Dixit B. Patel of Piscataway, New Jersey, who gave $2,800 each.

Other top contributors included Community Fellowship Baptist Church of Covington, which gave $1,900; and $500 each from R. Mark Simpson of Maryland and J.O. Anderson of Covington.

State law limits individual campaign contributions to $2,800 each during a general election, according to information from the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

Brown’s Republican challenger, Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcom, received $49,128 in contributions during the Sept. 30 reporting period and $140,591 in contributions overall.

Expenditures of $19,489 during the period and $86,519 throughout the year left him with $54,071 on hand on Sept. 30, according to the disclosures.

Among Malcom’s top contributors were Reginald McFarland of Social Circle, $2,000; Alliance Corrugated and Display of Madison, $1,000; Covington attorney Bryan Pulliam, $800; Jared Rutberg of Covington, $650; Janton Custom Works of Sugar Hill, $540; Covington Hearing Associates, $500; and South Covington Square LLC, $500.

Malcom’s expenditures went for social media, T-shirts, campaign consulting and more.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Former assistant district attorney Destiny Bryant reported contributions of $19,980 during the period ending Sept. 30, and $34,867 overall.

Bryant, a Democrat, reported expenditures of $15,959 during the period and $24,979 to date, leaving her $9,888 on hand on Sept. 30.

Her top contributors included Patricia Stansfield of Covington, $2,800; Adrian Welch of AW Trucking in Conyers, $2,800; AT&T technician Willie Loftley of Conyers, $1,500; DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston, $1,000; and $500 each from Negalign Kassage of Clarkston and attorneys Justin Kenney of Conyers, Careton Matthews of Lithonia, and Noah Pines of Atlanta.

Bryant’s Republican opponent, acting District Attorney Randy McGinley, reported $28,025 in contributions this period and $46,410 throughout the year.

He spent $14,002 during the reporting period and $23,785 overall, leaving him with $22,624 on hand on Sept. 30.

McGinley’s top contributors included Monroe law firm Preston & Malcom, $2,800; and Joe Crump of Loganville, $2,500.

Other top contributions included $1,000 each from Monroe attorney David Dickinson, Atlanta appraiser Robert Hendley, Michael Cote of Loganville, and the election campaigns of Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman and State Rep. Barry Fleming of Harlem; and $600 each from Lowe Enterprises of Loganville and Monroe law firm Atkinson Ferguson LLC.