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Candidates for next year’s election are already raising millions of dollars in campaign money – and for races that are often an afterthought for voters.

Totals from a June 30 fundraising deadline have begun to slip into public view now. Candidates are out raising eye-opening amounts of money now for races for Congress, for governor, and countless races that voters won’t pay much attention to until well into next year.

For governor, Brian Kemp said he’s raised $12 million. For lieutenant governor, Republican state Sen. Butch Miller said he’s raised over $2 million.

For Secretary of State, Democratic state Rep. Bee Nguyen said she’s raised $386,000.

There’s a reason.

After years of Republican dominance, Joe Biden won Georgia last election – as did Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.  The money is chasing two-party competition, said Democratic fundraiser Kristin Oblander.

“Being in play, being a contested state does mean more money for sure, coming from inside the state and outside the state as well,” said Oblander, who has raised money for Democrats since the late 1990s.