Politics

Ex-HHS Secretary Price Spreads Cash Around in Georgia Races

Former congressman donates maximum to gubernatorial candidate Kemp from leftover campaign funds

Former secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tom Price’s tenure in Washington may have ended, but he’s still spending campaign cash.

Price’s congressional campaign committee has disbursed $55,000 to campaigns in recent weeks, with the bulk going to candidates in his native Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Committees can spend leftover fundraising even after the election is over, even if the candidate has retired from public life, resigned, or died.

Beneficiaries of Price’s “zombie” campaign account include Brian Kemp, the Republican Secretary of State who has garnered national outrage over charges that he has held up 50,000 voter registrations, and that the backlog has predominantly affected black voters, as he faces a close election for governor against Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams.

Kemp received $6,600, the maximum amount allowed by law.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Georgia gubernatorial race Tilt Republican.

Price donated $10,000 each to the state Republican party and a local county party in his former district. He also also tapped campaign funds for legal expenses, the committee’s most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission shows.

Price has the ignominious distinction of being the first Trump administration Cabinet member to depart: He served as Trump’s first secretary of Health and Human Services until he resigned last year after reports revealed he had flown on a private jet dozens of times while in office, sometimes on personal business, at a steep cost to taxpayers.

Despite the scandal, Price remains an influential figure in Georgia. His wife, Betty Price, serves in the state legislature. In January he joined the advisory board of Jackson Healthcare, a politically active health care staffing company, and one of the largest private companies in Atlanta. Former presidential hopeful Jeb Bush also serves on the board.

And Price is likely to remain influential: His campaign reported having $1.8 million in cash on hand.

How and Why Many Key Officials Have Exited the Trump Administration

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.