WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Ron Paul have banked millions, but the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls are struggling or broke four months before the first nominating contests take place. Ahead of a critical fundraising deadline Friday, the GOP's contenders are courting donors in Texas, Georgia and New York in last-minute attempts to pick up final dollars. The push comes before they have to file a three-month summary of their finances. Romney's campaign says he could raise as much as $18 million. Perry donors claim he could hit $10 million. Paul's campaign asked supporters to celebrate the Texas congressman's Aug. 20 birthday with a donation - and they gave him $1.6 million just that day. The rest of the field, though, lags far behind, putting their candidacies into question.
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ATLANTA - Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry will make his Georgia debut with a speech Friday before a conservative think tank. The Texas governor will speak about taxes, torts and his home's state's economy in a speech before the Georgia Public Policy Foundation in Atlanta. The group is holding its 2011 legislative conference. The event is modeled after the annual briefings by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a sister think tank in the Lone Star state. Perry will also headline a lunchtime fundraiser Friday at an upscale Atlanta restaurant. It will be Perry's first trip to Georgia since joining the race for the White House. He's already lined up some prominent support in the state, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
ATLANTA - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will swing through Georgia to raise money. His Republican rival Rick Perry will hit the state for the first time next week.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is set to headline a $1,000-per-person event Monday night at the Atlanta home of supporters Rick and Joan Smith.
The Romney team rolled out a list of new Georgia backers, including state and local elected officials, Republican operatives and county GOP party chairs.
Perry, the Texas governor, will make his debut in Georgia since getting into the Republican race for president. He'll headline a Sept. 30 fundraiser at an Atlanta restaurant.
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