Ninth district Congressional hopeful Hunter Bicknell earned the endorsements this week of an influential north Georgia activist and the state’s preeminent pro-life advocacy group.

The Jackson County Commission chair notched on Friday the endorsements of conservative Ellijay activist Joe McCutchen and Georgia Right to Life.

“I am blessed beyond words with the amount of positive support I have received from my friends in north Georgia,” Bicknell said in a press release. “It is humbling to know that so many conservative leaders realize that now is not the time for another pundit or political elitist in Washington — now is the time for a proven businessman with a conservative record of accomplishing positive change.”

The pundit swipe is not-so-veiled volley to former Gainesville radio talk show host and rival Martha Zoller, but nonetheless a curious one: McCutchen is himself a small-market radio talker. (McCutchen was profiled in January by Comedy Central’s The Daily Show as an early and vocal supporter of Republican Mitt Romney.)

A Tipsheet tipster notes too that Bicknell’s GRTL endorsement is not one of exclusivity; rather, the group stamps its approval on all candidates who clear its personhood qualifier. On this measure, both Zoller and State Rep. Doug Collins, Nathan Deal’s floor broker in the Legislature, were greenlit.

According to April quarterly campaign finance disclosure reports, Bicknell trails both Collins and Zoller by wide margins. His campaign’s last filing showed it had less than $20,000 cash-on-hand as it approaches the July 31 primary, while Collins has stockpiled more than $140,000.00.

Candiate Raised Cash-on-hand Debt
Hunter Bicknell (PDF) $40,049.00 $19,682.66 $0.00
Martha Zoller (PDF) $72,513.78 $34,558.95 $0.00
Doug Collins (PDF) $86,671.50 $142,849.64 $15,000

Fundraising numbers by Roger Fitzpatrick and Clifton McDuffie, both considered longshot candidates, were not immediately available.

The five candidates met last week for a forum that press accounts indicate became largely a knock-down, drag-out match between Collins and Zoller over social issues and TSPLOST, for which Bicknell was consulted on regional projects that would benefit from the proposed consumption tax.

– James Richardson