Gov. Brian Kemp’s re-election campaign had more than $5 million in the bank at the end of January after a strong fundraising showing in the second half of the year.
As is the case with most governors, Kemp’s campaign had no trouble getting checks from lobbyists, special-interest PACs and traditionally big donors that typically back the state’s leaders.
Kemp’s campaign reported raising $4.4 million since June 30, spending relatively little and ending the period in strong financial shape.
Among Kemp’s big donors was Kelly Loeffler, whom the governor appointed to the U.S. Senate to replace Johnny Isakson. Loeffler gave the maximum $18,100 to Kemp’s campaign.
If Kemp winds up facing Democrat Stacey Abrams again in 2022, he will need the money. The 2018 matchup between the two was the most expensive gubernatorial race in Georgia history.
Abrams’ campaign alone reported spending about $27 million, the most by any gubernatorial candidate in state history.
While Kemp raised most of his money from Georgia, Abrams’ campaign developed a nationwide fundraising machine. That trend has continued, with Abrams’ voting rights group Fair Fight having pulled in almost $20 million since her defeat, largely from out-of-state donors.
Since June 30, Kemp has received big money from groups and donors interested in state legislation and funding, or who regularly give to governors.
He received more than $110,000 from the leading nursing home interests in the state, including $52,000 from the family that owns PruittHealth. The company’s CEO serves on the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents.
Nursing homes receive more than $1 billion in state funding for care.
Two private prison companies chipped in a combined $25,000. Private prison companies receive about $140 million in state funding, and Kemp recommended an increase for them this year while proposing major cuts to state-funded prisons.
Augusta developer James Hull, another member of the Board of Regents, his family and company contributed $54,000. The Tarbutton family, which owns the Sandersville Railroad, contributed about $38,000.
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