Democratic challenger Marcus Flowers topped U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, in the most recent campaign fundraising report, but the first-term congresswoman says she maintains strong support in Northwest Georgia and has a significant advantage in campaign cash.
In a phone interview, Greene said it's interesting to be asked about Democratic opponents in such a strong Republican district.
"To be honest with you, I hope people keep donating to them [Democrat challengers], because every dollar that goes to Marcus Flower or Holly whatever her name is - that's just more money that can't be spent against other Republicans," Greene said. "So good for Marcus Flowers and the scammers and grifters over there in the Democrat Party for pumping these people up, because it's a pretty pathetic joke if you know anything about Georgia's 14th District."
The district covers nine counties in the northwest portion of the state, and in recent redistricting, had a section of Cobb County tacked on that has historically supported Democrats.
During the latest campaign finance reporting period, three Democrats were vying for the seat, and three Republicans were challenging Greene as well. The primary will be May 24, and the general election on Nov. 8.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, Flowers reported $1.34 million in contributions, while Greene raised $1.18 million. At the end of 2021, Greene had a war chest of $3.51 million, while Flowers had $1.54 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Flowers is an Army veteran who spent a decade in combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq and also worked on humanitarian efforts in the Sudan and peacekeeping missions in the Balkans. In an email, his campaign said that Flowers will prioritize veterans issues, fighting corruption through campaign finance reform and advocating to expand broadband internet into rural areas.
After the U.S. Capitol was attacked Jan. 6, Flowers said he resigned from his government post the next day to run for Congress.
"He's seen the damage done by extremism, radicalization and disinformation and won't stand by and let it happen here," his campaign said via email.
The campaign's email said that Flowers is the only candidate positioned to make the investment needed to unseat Greene.
Holly McCormack, who owns an insurance agency in Chattanooga, and Wendy Davis, a former Rome city commissioner and political consultant, are also running in the Democratic primary, although their campaigns reported significantly less fundraising.
At the beginning of the year, McCormack had $178,002 in the bank, raising $633,733 in the last quarter of 2021. Davis held $79,154 after raising $89,766 during the same time period.
In 2020, Greene's Democratic rival dropped out, and she won the seat with 74.7 percent of the vote. Based on her interaction with voters and polling, she said she expects to retain her seat.
Her main priority if re-elected to a second term, she said, is to make sure Congress works for the people, not the other way around. But in general, Greene said she'll keep doing what she's been doing.
"I've stayed the same person that people have elected me to be. One thing is, I've been overwhelmed, I'm so, so grateful and thankful for all the support I have in the district," she said. "It's absolutely amazing. All the polling we have done has just been incredible."
Also important to Greene is controlling crime, strengthening the southern border and reducing the amount of fentanyl, a dangerous illegal drug that she said and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms was the No. 1 killer of Americans 18-45 last year.
She also plans to push for a comprehensive border bill called Protect America First that she introduced last year. And even though she was stripped of her committee assignments a year ago, she said she's been promised better committee assignments if the Republicans take back the House – which she said is very likely.
Greene was removed from her committees after confronting political opponents outside official hearings, making social media posts that seemed to support violence against Democratic leadership and promoting what were deemed fringe theories. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned what he called her "loony lies and conspiracy theories."
In her interview with the Times Free Press, Greene said she attacks both Republicans and Democrats because fighting the system is what her voters expect from her.
Greene thinks one of her most important achievements in Congress was leading the movement to demand roll call votes instead of voice votes. The procedural tactic has been deemed a waste of time even by some of her Republican colleagues, but Greene says it hold lawmakers accountable.
Greene's GOP challengers include Jennifer Strahan, owner of a health care consulting firm; retired physician Charles Lutin; and Eric Cunningham, an executive with a warehouse and packaging company. Greene said she doesn't expect that there will be a primary debate because none of her opponents have garnered sufficient support.
At the beginning of 2022, Strahan had $60,332 in her campaign war chest and raised $50,165 in the last quarter of 2021. Cunningham reported he has $7,485 in campaign cash; Lutin reported $5,580.