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Ga. Magnate Announces Senate Run

April 22, 1998

KENNESAW, Ga. (AP) _ Democratic Michael Coles, a cookie company magnate who lost a bid to unseat House Speaker New Gingrich two years ago, has launched his campaign against Republican Sen. Paul Coverdell.

Coles made his announcement Tuesday at the Kennesaw State University business school that bears his name.

Co-founder of the Great American Cookie Co., with an estimated net worth of $30 million to $60 million, Coles pledged to push for a $1 increase in the minimum wage, among other things.

``Georgia’s working families need a voice in Washington, someone who has come from a little and built a life,″ he said.

In a Georgia State University poll last month, Coverdell easily led Coles, 50 percent to 24 percent. The first-term incumbent also holds a substantial fund-raising advantage.

Coverdell had $2.8 million in his campaign treasury on March 31, while Coles had $815,112, including a $400,000 loan from his own pocket.

In his first political outing in 1996, Coles spent $2.3 million of his own money and got 42 percent of the vote against Gingrich.

Coverdell and Coles face no opposition so far in their July 21 primaries.

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