Gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp participate in their only debate at the Georgia Public Broadcasting Studios in Atlanta. A second debate was scheduled but was canceled by Brain Kemp. The cancellation was due to President Donald Trump choosing to campaign for Kemp during the scheduled time of the debate.

Georgia governor race smashes new campaign cash records 

The race for governor smashed another Georgia campaign finance record as Republican Gov.-elect Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams combined to raise nearly $50 million through December.

A year-end report released Tuesday, covering the period from Oct. 25 to Dec. 31, shows that Kemp collected about $22.1 million throughout the contest, including about $1.1 million in the final stretch of the race. 

Abrams surpassed her rival’s tally by taking in about $27.6 million through the end of the year, netting more than $5.4 million since late October. She collected about $2 million of that sum during the 10 days after the vote before she quit the race. 

Their hauls add to an already significant total: The state Republican and Democratic parties raised more than $34 million, and the other candidates collected roughly $23 million before they were vanquished in the primaries. 

Kemp ends the year with about $700,000 in cash in the bank as his aides shifted fundraising efforts to raise money for his inaugural. Abrams reported about $240,000 left in her coffers.

The reports also shed light on Abrams’ new ventures. She shifted $1 million on Nov. 20 to Fair Fight Action, the voting rights group that Abrams launched shortly after she ended her bid. A separate Fair Fight PAC reported raising about $220,000 over the final two months of the year. 

Kemp’s final surge of contributions include tens of thousands of dollars from corporate PACs. Abrams’ last round of contributors was dotted with several big names, included actresses Patricia Arquette, Cecily Strong, Lily Tomlin and Uma Thurman.

About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.