Gibbons to Match Ramsey, Wamp in Fundraising by Year’s End?

Bill Gibbons may be running last in the Republican gubernatorial primary money race so far, but he will catch Ron Ramsey and Zach Wamp by the end of the year, according to his campaign manager.
Josh Thomas, meeting with reporters Wednesday evening, said the campaign is confident that upcoming fundraisers will boost Gibbons collections to the $2 million mark and that will be equal to what Ramsey and Wamp will have by Dec. 31.
Ramsey had $1.3 million and Wamp a bit less in their July reports. Gibbons had $416,000. All, of course, were outdone by Bill Haslam with $3.6 million in the last reporting period or $3.8 million overall.
Though Gibbons actually trailed Haslam in contributions from donors with Memphis zip codes in the first six months of the year, Thomas says that, if you add the zip codes of outlying towns in Shelby County instead of just Memphis, Gibbons had a lead.
(A quick check of Germantown addresses at the News Sentinel gubernatorial campaign finance database indicates Gibbons had bested Haslam there — about $39,000 in donations there versus about $25,000 for Haslam.)
Thomas also notes that Gibbons had more donors, numerically, in Memphis. It’s just that the Haslam backers tended to give bigger amounts. That means Gibbons can go back to the smaller donors again and get them to max out, Thomas observes.
With $2 million collected as the election year begins, Thomas says
Gibbons will be poised to relay his message to voters and, working from a 50,000 primary vote base in Shelby, go for the nomination against the other three candidates who will splitting up East Tennessee votes.
That 50,000 votes in Shelby, by the way, would be better than any Republican candidate in statewide primaries of recent years. Van Hilleary got 43,179 votes in Shelby in winning the 2002 GOP gubernatorial nomination; Ed Bryant got 32,290 in the 2006 U.S. Senate primary. (Bob Corker, who won the nomination, had 29,362 votes in Shelby.)
Part of Gibbons’ message, of course, is presenting himself as the tough-on-crime district attorney, backed by several other prosecutors around the state.
Thomas says Nashville DA Torry Johnson is aboard at the latest prosecutor trying to help his campaign.

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