Stacey Abrams has jumped well ahead of Gov. Brian Kemp in campaign fundraising, with both campaigns releasing their latest fundraising tallies. Bazemore-Pool/Getty Images (2018 file photo)
Democrat Stacey Abrams has leapt ahead of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in campaign fundraising in their rematch contest, though she lags slightly behind Kemp in the polls.
The former state House minority leader’s campaign released eye-popping campaign finance figures Friday that show she has raised a total of $21.8 million dollars in just May and June as a candidate and through her leadership committee.
Her campaign says she will report raising $9.6 million as a candidate and $12.2 million through her One Georgia Leadership Committee, which is reporting its fundraising total for the first time.
The leadership committees, which were created last year and signed into law by Kemp, allow unlimited campaign contributions and have amped up the spending in the race for governor – which has already exceeded 2018 levels with four months left before the November election.
Abrams and GOP challenger David Perdue contested Kemp’s ability to raise and spend money through the leadership committee while they could not until they were the official nominee. Abrams, who ran uncontested in the primary, became the official Democratic nominee on May 24.
All told, Abrams will report $28.1 million in new donations. That includes a total of $18.5 million through the leadership committee, about $6.3 million of which was raised previously before the state ethics commission said she had to wait to use the special account.
She has raised a total of $49 million since announcing her candidacy in December, and she collectively has $18.5 million cash on hand to spend, according to her campaign.
A prolific fundraiser, Abrams took a brief break from socking away cash in early May after the draft Supreme Court opinion overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked, urging supporters to instead send donations to abortion rights groups.
“The Abrams for Governor campaign is gaining momentum thanks to robust and diverse funding streams fueled by nearly a quarter-million grassroots donors giving $100 or less,” Abrams’ campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, said in a statement.
“As we look ahead to November to unseat an extreme incumbent who has championed a dangerous and unpopular far-right agenda and signed legislation to give himself unlimited money, we know that we have to out-raise and out-work his built-in advantages of free media and his doling out of funds secured by federal Democrats that he opposed,” she added. “We are in an uphill battle, but our vision of One Georgia is within reach, and we are excited to make it so.”
Kemp faced a Trump-endorsed GOP challenger, forcing him to dig into his war chest ahead of the fall general election when he will once again appear on the ballot alongside Abrams. He ended up easily beating Perdue in a landslide in May.
The governor’s campaign says Kemp raised a combined $6.8 million: $3.8 million as a candidate and another $3 million through his Georgians First Leadership Committee.
His leadership committee, which had previously reported raising $2.4 million, was temporarily suspended after a judge’s ruling in late May put the special committees on hold until after the primary.
All told, Kemp has raised a combined $31.6 million for his re-election bid.
He will report having about $7 million in cash on hand, with about $650,000 of that left for his leadership committee for now.
“Far-left radicals from across the country are bankrolling Stacey Abrams’ campaign to bring the failed agenda of D.C. Democrats to Georgia,” Kemp’s campaign spokesman Tate Mitchell said in a statement.
“Abrams and her liberal allies can – and will – continue to outraise and outspend our campaign, but we will continue to run on Governor Kemp’s record of putting Georgians first and securing historic economic success for our state.”
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