Giving limit rises to $7,600 for Georgia political donors

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ATLANTA (AP) -- Candidates seeking election to statewide offices in Georgia can now legally accept more from each donor.

After a Thursday vote by the state ethics commission, people, corporations, political committees and political party can give each candidate up to $7,600 for each primary and general election and $4,500 for each runoff. That's up from $7,000 for primary and general elections and $4,100 for runoffs.

Donors can give each candidate for the state House and Senate and local offices up to $3,000 for each general and primary election, an increase from $2,800. Those candidates can take up to $1,600 for each runoff, above the current $1,500 ceiling.

The changes take effect immediately.

Many big donors stack donations, giving a candidate the top amount for a primary, a general and even a runoff at one time.

The commission, properly known as the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, is required by state law to raise contribution limits each election cycle to account for inflation. The limit for a statewide candidate in a primary or general election was $5,000 when the law was first enacted more than 10 years ago.

Among the more than 40 states that set contribution limits, Georgia's limits are above average, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.