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Overview:

Want to know who's making it rain for Clayton County politicos? Here's what we found.

UPDATE 5:47 p.m.: Reaves says she filed reports that aren’t showing in the county portal

If you want to know who donated to Clayton County candidates’ campaigns, or whom Clayton County candidates are paying to help them get elected, you might be confused by the multiple campaign finance sites and requirements.

Follow the money

You might find county-level candidate filings in one of four places:

For municipal races, you’ll find candidate filings at the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office if the county handles your city’s elections. If your city runs its own elections (or hires a contractor to do it for them), like Forest Park, you’ll find candidate filings at City Hall and you’ll probably have to file an Open Records Request to see them. All municipal candidates’ filings go to the state, so check those sites, as well.

Those state filings are due every election year on January 31, March 31, June 30, September 30, October 25, and December 31. The filings also are due every non-election year on January 31 and June 30. State law allows a five-day grace period for those deadlines.

For federal races, you can look up a candidate by state, district, or zip code at the Federal Elections Commission.

Cut to the chase: For county and statewide candidates in Clayton County, go to the Clayton County Elections and Registration homepage and click on the red, white, and blue “Easy File” logo with the checkmark on the right-hand column.

That will take you directly to https://claytoncountyga.easyvotecampaignfinance.com/home/publicfilings, where you can read campaign finance disclosures (CCDR), declarations of intent to accept campaign contributions (DOI), and affidavits for current candidates running for office, as well as for past candidates.

Some candidates show no filings in the public-facing online portal (most notably, former Board of Commissioners Chair Wade Starr). It’s possible that some campaign documents are on file at the Elections and Registration Office but not listed online, as the website disclaimer notes. (We asked Elections and Registration for the latest CCDRs last week, at least some of which appear online, and were promised a callback once the documents were ready. We’ll check back to see if everyone filed on time and update if we find more.)

The quickest way to find campaign finance filings for some individual candidates is to use the Advanced Search tool here:

https://claytoncountyga.easyvotecampaignfinance.com/advancedsearch/contributions

If you look up a candidate in one link and don’t find any campaign finance documents, look for them in the other link.

Who gets

Mitzi Bickers’ Pirouette Companies, now headquartered at 315 Stonecastle Pass in Atlanta (and the UPS store on West Paces Ferry), and with Bickers’ partner Keyla Jackson now listed as the CEO, CFO, and secretary on state corporate filings, continues to pull in plenty of cash for running political campaigns.

Also doing campaign consulting work for several Clayton County candidates are Griffin School Board member and multiple-stabbing survivor Syntel Brown and UGA political science student and Dexter Wimbish‘s Griffin Judicial Circuit DA campaign volunteer coordinator Austin Grant. Kevin Thomas, whose Capitol Connections Firm, Inc. was reinstated in 2021 (Sandra Thomas is CEO and CFO; Kevin Thomas is secretary), provided a “campaign black book” to Anderson’s campaign. A payee listed as “Campaign Blackbook” at Thomas’ home address in Jonesboro provided palm cards for Monica Hooker, who is running against incumbent Jasmine Bowles in School Board District 1. The Clayton Crescent did not find a registered Georgia corporation called “Campaign Blackbook.”

Who gives

A lot of campaign donors who live outside of Clayton County are in the real estate business. Some are in the bail bond business, like Tommy Ford of Jam Bonding and Christopher Bohrer of Anytime Bail Bonding, both of whom donated $2,500 to Janice Scott’s District 4 campaign. So did Bickers’ former boss and close friend, Sheriff Victor Hill, who chipped in $500 to Scott’s campaign. Jarrett Gorlin of Judicial Innovations, a probation software and online government-fee and ticket-payment company, also donated $1,000 to Scott’s campaign.

Some candidates have not filed any campaign finance reports recently.

While Alaina Reaves filed a Declaration of Intent to receive campaign donations, none have been recorded in the public-facing part of the Clayton County Elections and Registration Easy File online portal. Reaves, who ran against Alieka Anderson in the special election to fill District 1 after Sonna Singleton Gregory’s death from ovarian cancer, has been endorsed by Board of Commissioners Chairman Jeff Turner in the BOC District 1 race. Reaves told The Clayton Crescent, “Not sure why my reports aren’t available online. September 30th and October 25 reports submitted, will follow up about the December 31 report.”

District 4 candidate Meia Ballinger also filed a DOI, but her most recent filing is an affidavit that she has not received more than $2,500 in donations. Ballinger, who along with Scott is challenging District 4 incumbent DeMont Davis, has been asking supporters on Facebook to donate to her GoFundMe account.

Most of Davis’ campaign donors are from Clayton County. One exception is The Collaborative Firm, Michael Hightower’s planning and redevelopment business, which donated $1,000. Hightower’s firm, which the City of Forest Park called in to manage “town hall meetings” about the Park at Fort Gillem and which puts on the South Metro Development Outlook Conference, also donated $500 to Anderson’s reelection campaign in District 1.

The list

Want to know who’s making it rain for Clayton County politicos? Here’s what we found:

Board of Commissioners 1

  • Alieka Anderson (I)
    • 4/30/22: CCDR
      • DONORS
      • PAYEES
        • Austin Grant, Griffin (Consulting): $125
        • Kevin Thomas, Jonesboro (Campaign Blackbook): $593.75
        • Robert Hill, Riverdale (Signs): $200
        • Robert Hill, Riverdale (Food for campaign): $100
        • Syntel Brown, Griffin (Consulting): $350
        • Austin Grant, Griffin (Consulting): $300
        • Pirouette Companie [sic], Atlanta (Campaign Phone Banking): $5,000
        • Pirouette Companie [sic], Atlanta (Campaign Phone Banking): $5,000
        • Syntel Brown, Griffin (Consulting): $350
        • Outfront Media, New York (Billboards): $4,220
        • Carl Lee, Grayson (Signs): $3,993
        • Longhorn Steakhouse (Campaign Event Food): $139.54
        • 7 Pillars Career Academy (School donation): $250
        • Texting for Less, Hackensack, NJ (Campaign Texting): $1,130
        • Georgia Secretary of State Committee Registration: $115
        • Riches Events, Griffin (Event Planning): $374.50
        • The Home Depot, Ellenwood (Campaign Event Materials): $154.32
        • Kroger, Atlanta (Campaign events): $168.86
        • The Home Depot, Morrow (Campaign Event Materials): $191.43
        • Sam’s Club, Morrow (Campaign Event Materials): $124.33
        • Pirouette Companie [sic], Atlanta (Campaign Phone Banking): $500
        • Syntel Brown, Griffin (Consulting): $350
        • Syntel Brown, Griffin (Consulting): $85
        • Sign D Sign, Inc., Grayson (Campaign signs): $1,925
        • Austin Grant, Griffin (Consulting): $300
        • 5Church, Atlanta (Campaign event): $142.40
        • QuikTrip, Ellenwood (Candidate travel gas): $48.07
        • Syntel Brown, Griffin (Consulting): $1,700
        • QuikTrip, Ellenwood (Candidate travel gas): $60.46
        • QuikTrip, Ellenwood (Candidate travel gas): $61.24
        • Texting for Less, Hackensack, NJ (Campaign texting): $1,136
        • Pirouette Companie [sic], Atlanta (Campaign phone banking): $2,000
    • 2/4/22: CCDR
      • DONORS
        • Dustin Hewatt, Manager, Majors West, Braselton: $2,600
        • Valerie Hewatt, Realtor, Majors Realty, Braselton: $2,600
        • Marissa Stockton, not employed, Braselton: $2,600
        • Marvin Hewatt, CEO, Hewatt Enterprises, Braselton: $2,600
        • Sharon Lawson, not employed, Gainesville: $2,600
        • Jill Harris, Realtor, Jill Harris & Associates, Atlanta: $2,600
        • Brad Hughes, Manager, Sentinel Properties, Gainesville: $2,600
        • JDS Holdings, Duluth: $1,000
        • Christopher Harris, President, Sentinel Properties, Atlanta: $2,600
        • Stephen Henri, not employed, Decatur: $50
      • PAYEES
        • Vantiv E-Commerce, Symmes Township, OH (ActBlue fees): $2.21
  • Alaina Reaves

Board of Commissioners 4

  • DeMont Davis (I)
    • 5/4/2022: CCDR
    • PAYEES
      • Audacy, Atlanta (fundraiser): $3,494
      • Autograph Digital, Morrow (Campaign expenses): $507.80
      • Autograph Digital, Morrow (Campaign expenses): $302.40
      • Brandon Turner, self-employed, Morrow (T-shirts): $600
      • Callfire.com (fundraiser): $299
      • Clash Graphics, Atlanta (Campaign expenses): $765.76
      • Full Purpose Solutions, Fayetteville (PR): $2,500
      • Game Media Network (Campaign expenses): $1,000
      • Gap Management Services, Atlanta (Campaign expenses): $4,500
      • Georgia Democratic Party (Profession fees): $400
      • Good Guy Signs, Tampa, FL (Signs, campaign expenses): $6,735.33
      • In Astra Translate (Campaign expenses): $130
      • Kevin Collins, self-employed (Campaign expenses): $800
      • Liah Gemini, self-employed (Website video): $1,600
      • Lowe’s, Stockbridge (supplies): $672.53
      • Nouveau Restaurant, Jonesboro (fundraiser): $474.89
      • Publix, Morrow (fundraiser): $179.17
      • Sam’s Club, Jonesboro (campaign expenses): $207.58
      • Savoy Bar & Grill, Morrow (campaign expenses): $168.97
      • SST Supplies, Riverdale (campaign expenses): $529.15
      • Bookkeeping, self employ (accounting): $2,500
      • The Democratic Party (profession fees): $1,073
      • Full Purpose Solution, Fayetteville (PR): $7,500
  • Meia Ballinger
  • Janice Scott

Board of Education 1

  • Jasmine Bowles (I)
  • Monica Hooker
    • 5/6/22: CCDR
      • DONORS
        • Carol Braddy, entrepreneur, LSCC, Atlanta: $2,500
        • Dr. Monica Hooker, entrepreneur, Fayetteville: $1,000
      • PAYEES
        • Sign D Sign, Snellville (signs): $445
        • Sign D Sign, Snellville (signs): $850
        • Campaign Blackbook, Jonesboro (palm cards): $552.50 (we found no Georgia corporate listing by the name “Campaign Blackbook” but this payee has the same Jonesboro address as Sandra and Kevin Thomas’ Capitol Connections)
        • RaceTrac, Fayetteville (candidate travel gas): $54.75

Board of Education 4

Board of Education 8

Board of Education 9

  • Benjamin Straker (I)
    • Personal Financial Statement 10/26/19 (Clayton County’s online list of candidate filings do not show any entris after this date for Straker. However, not all campaign filings appear online.)

Judge of State Court

Judge of State Court

Judge of State Court

  • Margaret L. Spencer (I)
    • 5/4/22: CCDR
      • DONORS
        • Suesan Miller, attorney, McDonough: $500
        • Karen Pass, attorney, Fayetteville: $300
        • John Felan Spoon Castaneda, attorney, Jonesboro: $200
        • Shonterria Stokes, attorney, Stockbridge: $500
        • Jason Monroe, attorney, Jonesboro: $300
        • Moore Ibekwe, attorney, College Park: $250
        • Lister, Holt & Dennis, attorney, Jonesboro: $1,000
        • Joseph M. Todd PC, attorney, Jonesboro: $250
        • Tracy Graham Lawson, LLC, attorney, Jonesboro: $1,000
        • Gloria Brown, retired, Forest Park: $100
        • Frank Armstead, retired, Jonesboro: $100
      • PAYEES
        • Clayton County Board of Elections (filing fee): $4,880.98
        • USPS, Riverdale (P.O. box): $198
        • Sam’s Club, Morrow (marketing expense): $263.73

Robin Kemp

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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