Use the form below to filter for articles containing certain key words. Use the calendar on the right for articles published during a certain Month, Year.

July 19--  A Republican congressional candidate says she's concerned that the chairman of the Toombs County Republican Party is a paid consultant for one of her opponents.

{mosimage}Maria Sheffield of Dublin says she learned through campaign disclosure reports that Jim Collins of Vidalia was paid $1500 in May and June as a consultant to Wright McLeod of Augusta.

"I don't know if he's done it to other candidates, but he certainly sent out an email to other people in the party and to the chairman of the district about me which was an unpleasant email. At the time we didn't realize he was actually on the payroll of the McLeod campaign and that makes all the difference in the world.  I think it makes a difference for our state party and is something that wil be looked into after July 31. You would not generally find a county chairman on the payroll of a particular campaign and if you did, they would let the other candidates know what was going on," she said.

Collins says he hasn't crossed over the line by working for McLeod and says his consultant work is permissible under party rules as long as he doesn't use his title as county chairman to endorse any particular Republican candidate.

Sheffield is the only candidate in the race not from the Augusta area and she's way behind in fund raising.  According to the Federal Elections Commission, she only raised $19,115 in individual contributions as of June 30. it also shows a loan from herself to her campaign of $105,250.

Her Republican opponents have donations from individuals of more than $300,000 each and the Democratic incumbent John Barrow has a war chest of more than $700,000 in individual contributions and in excess of $1.1 million from political action committees.

Sheffield made a strong showing in the counties of the 12th District when she ran unsuccessfully for state Insurance Commission in 2010 and she believes that will help in her congressional race, despite her lack of money.

"When you factor out salaries and consultants and that kind of thing, I'm still going to be in a great position to get my message out to voters.  I'm excited about that and about the grass roots and Tea Party support I have throughout the district," she said.