February 11, 2016 9:00 AM
2014 was a Yunique year in GA-12, as longtime Democratic Representative John Barrow was finally unseated by current Republican Representative Rick Allen. Prior to that victory, Rep. Allen had unexpectedly won a 5-person primary by over 17,000 votes, allowing him to enter the general election without enduring the predicted runoff. The results of the primary election:
Yu would think that such a dominating victory in the Republican primary would prevent any of his previous challengers from entering the race in 2016, but Yu would be wrong.
Sylvia Cooper at The Augusta Chronicle recently reported that Mr. Eugene Yu announced that he was running for Congress in GA-12 on January 29, 2016 at the Augusta NAACP Martin Luther King. Jr. Freedom Dinner. He had previously filed his committee’s statement of organization on January 26, 2016 and his declaration of candidacy on January 27, 2016. Since then, large signs have been appearing on roadsides in the District.
The Chronicle reports that Yu has experienced a feeling of being “betrayed” by Rep. Allen and a belief that “Allen has joined the Washington establishment.” The decision to run again was purportedly made after Rep. Allen voted for the omnibus bill.
Eugene Yu in The Augusta Chronicle:
“He’s forgotten who sent him to Washington to fight for our interests, our concerns. Instead, he’s going along to get along with the establishment in Washington. We the people sent him, and we the people should bring him home.”
Yu is carrying some baggage from his 2014 congressional campaign, including currently showing campaign debt of $249,375. Yu raised some unanswered financial questions in 2014 after he loaned his campaign over $776,700 despite his personal financial disclosure report not appearing to have enough liquid assets to cover that amount.
John Stone, who finished fourth in the 2014 GA-12 primary, filed a complaint in May, 2014 with the FEC seeking answers about the sourcing of the loaned funds. FEC filings through December 31, 2015, show that Mr. Yu has been repaid $631,748 of the $776,700 he loaned to his campaign, but there is still a lack of transparency in the origin of the loan funds and a resolution to Stone’s complaint.
Can Yu overcome the questions about his previous loans to his campaign and pull off the Yuuuuuge upset over Rep. Allen?