Georgia's Brian Kemp raises $3.8M for reelection bid

·2 min read
FILE - This combination of 2022 and 2021 photos shows Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, left, and gubernatorial Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams. The Republican Kemp announced Wednesday, July 6, 2022, that his campaign committee had raised $3.8 million in the two months ended June 30. Abrams hasn't released June 30, 2022, numbers but raised more than $20 million between December and April. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday that his main campaign committee raised $3.8 million in the two months ended June 30, but heavy spending leading up to the Republican's blowout primary win meant that Kemp's total amount of cash on hand continued to decline.

Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said the incumbent's main campaign committee had $6.4 million on hand. That reflects spending of more than $8 million before and just after the May 24 primary when Kemp thrashed former U.S. Sen. David Perdue and others. Kemp had $10.7 million in cash on April 30 and $12.7 million on Jan. 31.

Kemp also raised $3 million for his Georgians First Leadership Committee, Hall said, giving him a total of $6.8 million raised during the period. That special state fundraising vehicle allows the governor to collect unlimited contributions and coordinate spending with his campaign. The committee also spent about $3 million, leaving it with $650,000 on hand.

Democrat Stacey Abrams has yet to report numbers. Other candidates in November are Libertarian Shane Hazel and independent Al Bartell.

Georgia candidates have a grace period to file after the June 30 deadline, and Kemp had not filed his actual report with state ethics officials as of Wednesday evening.

Abrams has raised more than $20 million for her main campaign committee since announcing her campaign in December.

Kemp has raised more than $23 million over a longer period, topping the $22.4 million he raised in his win over Abrams in 2018.

The campaign in closely divided Georgia is likely to blow past old spending records, with a torrent of political spending expected from candidates, political parties and outside groups, especially when combined with the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

Both Perdue and Abrams sued over the leadership committee, saying it was unfair that Kemp could take in large amounts while Perdue and Abrams were barred until they won their party primaries.

After an earlier ruling that Kemp could not spend money from the committee for his campaign against Perdue, U.S. District Judge Mark Cohen ruled that Georgians First Leadership Committee could not solicit or receive contributions until after the primary election made Kemp the Republican nominee for governor. So the $3 million raised for Georgians First would have all come since May 24.

___

Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.