District Attorney Daphne Totten Has Missed Every Campaign Finance Deadline Since Taking Office

The woman responsible for enforcing the laws in the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit has had a difficult time complying with the laws herself. 

District Attorney Daphne Totten missed the deadline for filing her 2024 campaign finance disclosure documents, which were due April 30, 2024. The state gives a seven day grace period beyond the deadline before penalties begin accruing, which ended May 7, 2024. As of the morning of May 10, Totten has yet to file the paperwork. 

Campaign finance disclosures are an integral part of the elections process as they provide line item details of campaign contributions and expenditures for political candidates and public officials. The documents are both transparency and accountability centric, with the goal of giving voters peace of mind that races are not being influenced by dark money and special interests or that money is not misappropriated.

Even candidates who do not have opposition are required to file the paperwork and the documents are required in non-election years as well. 

But an examination of previous campaign filings shows Totten has missed the deadlines set forth under Georgia law every reporting period since taking office in January 2021.

The state ethics website lists Totten’s husband, Dirk, as her campaign treasurer and her most recent campaign disclosure showed $0 cash on hand. 

Below is a breakdown of the campaign finance reporting periods, the deadlines, and when Totten filed her respective paperwork.

February 6, 2024 was the day before Totten’s opponent formally announced he would challenge her for the seat. 

Noncompliance with state statutes subjects candidates and public officials to action by the Campaign Finance Commission, which can include assessment of civil penalties and administrative costs, orders to take remedial action, and when necessary, reporting of suspected violations of law to the appropriate law enforcement authority.

Totten is in a contested primary race against Statesboro attorney Robert Busbee. According to the state website, Busbee filed his campaign disclosure on April 30, 2024.

Election Day is May 21. The Ogeechee Judicial Circuit encompasses Bulloch, Effingham, Jenkins, and Screven counties.

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and co-creator of of the Peabody Award-nominated podcast 'Prison Town.'

Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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