Republicans Did Not Donate to Republican Challenger Fani Willis

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Republicans are not making substantial investments in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ challenger, Courtney Kramer, despite outrage over the prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

Willis, a Democrat, has faced criticism from Republicans amid her case against Trump and 18 co-defendants related to alleged election interference in Georgia following the 2020 presidential election. Georgia is a swing state that narrowly backed President Joe Biden. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has accused Willis of targeting him for political purposes.

Willis’ conduct has drawn scrutiny from Republicans, who have argued that she should be disqualified from the case for her relationship with Nathan Wade, a prosecutor she hired for the case, arguing the pair benefited from taxpayer dollars. Willis said their relationship began after Wade was hired.

Georgia Republican lawmakers are investigating allegations of misconduct against Willis related to alleged potential conflicts of interest and misuse of public funds.

Despite the controversies, Willis’ main opponents have not raised large sums of money to take her on, according to recent financial disclosures.

Willis is set to face voters this month in the Democratic primary, in which she has drawn a challenge from lawyer Christian Wise Smith. The only public polling for the race found Willis with a significant lead and is favored to go against Kramer in November.

A fundraising form filed by Kramer’s campaign last week found that she has raised about $26,320 since March 28. In that same time, Willis’ campaign raised $153,000, roughly six times as much.

Newsweek reached out to Kramer’s campaign for comment via email.

Why Are Republicans Not Donating?

Brent Buchanan, the president and founder of pollster Cygnal, told Newsweek that Kramer’s fundraising may be lagging because of Fulton County’s Democratic lean.

“This is Fulton County, Georgia, anchored by the heart of the City of Atlanta,” he said. “The only game that matters here is the May 21 Democratic primary where recent polling shows Fani Williams with a commanding lead over her Democratic opponent. Joe Biden won 73 percent of the vote in Fulton County, meaning a Republican has below a zero chance of winning countywide.”

Still, there are ways for Kramer to increase her fundraising. She “could and should” use Willis’ election fraud probe to fundraise nationally, he said.

Kramer should also focus on appearing on Fox News and other conservative-leaning media outlets to increase her national name recognition, he said.

“I don’t expect donations to naturally come to Courtney Kramer,” he said. “She’s going to have to work for it though the end result of the election is already known.”

Daniel P. Franklin, an associate professor emeritus of political science at Georgia State University, told Newsweek that Kramer might begin raising more funds after the primary, adding that the race “could be quite competitive.”

An endorsement from Trump could help her raise funds from his voter base, he said.

“There are a lot of Republican voters, particularly in the northern part of the county, so yeah, I think that her opponent will get a lot of money,” Franklin said. “I think it will be more competitive than average.”

If Republican voters turn out more than Democratic voters, it is possible that Kramer could overperform, he said. Some Democrats have not been happy about the way their money is being spent in the DA’s office, he said.

Most Democrats may continue to favor the case against Trump, but some may prefer that someone else lead the case, according to Franklin.

Willis’ case hit another roadblock last week after the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed to reconsider Judge Scott McAfee’s decision to not disqualify Willis from the case, granting an appeal from Trump’s co-defendants who argued the relationship between Willis and Wade constituted a conflict of interest.

The development could mean the case is less likely to head to trial before the November election.

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