Abrams group helps bankroll Georgia Democrats, Republicans get help from DC

Stacey Abrams launches her Fair Fight 2020 initiative at Annistown Elementary in Snellville. AJC/Alyssa Pointer

Stacey Abrams launches her Fair Fight 2020 initiative at Annistown Elementary in Snellville. AJC/Alyssa Pointer

About half of the money the Democratic Party of Georgia raised in the second half of 2019 came from Fair Fight, the voting rights group started by former party gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, according to campaign disclosures.

Almost half the money the Republican Party of Georgia raised during the same period came from national GOP organizations or joint fundraising efforts with those entities.

Both parties head into the 2020 election season in better financial shape than they were the last time Americans were picking a president.

The state Republican Party, which was $231,000 in debt this time four years ago, reported raising $982,000 during the last six months of 2019. That’s nearly three times what it raised in the same period in 2015, the year before the presidential election.

The party still owes $138,000, but it has paid off much of the debt it ran up  over a staff racial discrimination lawsuit.

About $450,000 of what the GOP raised came from the Republican National Committee or a joint national fundraising group called Take Back the House. GOP officials say the state party has agreements to get a share of the money raised from some of the national organizations.

The party also got big money from typical donors to the majority party - lobbyists, business associations with interest in state politics and legislation, and traditional major GOP contributors like Home Depot co-founded Bernie Marcus.

The Democratic Party reported raising about $740,000, also more than it did in the six months before the last presidential election year.

About $370,000 of that came from Fair Fight. The organization, which has raised nearly $19 million since being formed in the wake of Abrams’ narrow loss to Gov. Brian Kemp, gave big contributions to state Democratic Party organizations across the country.

The party also took in $100,000 from the trial lawyers lobby for the House and Senate Democratic caucuses, and $57,000 from unions.

Republicans also have several other political action committees and independent committees that took in big money in the second half of the year.

The House Republican Caucus PAC and a Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s outfit Advance Georgia each raised about $600,000, mostly from statehouse interests.

The Senate Republican PAC reported raising nothing in the period, but a review of filings by statehouse lobbyists and business associations showed it got at least $154,000 in the last half of the year. The PAC said it was exempt from filing a disclosure because it did not have

$25,000 in contributions or expenditures on behalf of candidates in 2019.