Stacey Abrams voting rights group tops $32 million raised

Stacey Abrams speaks during the Democratic National Committee’s IWillVote Gala. A group she formed after suffering a narrow loss in the 2018 race for governor has raised $32 million. It distributes that money to Democratic groups across the country to promote voting. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

The voting rights organization Stacey Abrams founded in 2018 after losing a close gubernatorial election has now raised more than $32 million since then, with millions going to state Democratic parties to make sure voters can cast ballots this fall.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed fundraising for Fair Fight’s political action committee, which reported Wednesday that it had raised $6 million since the beginning of July and has now taken in more than $12 million since February, just before the coronavirus hit the state.

Fair Fight’s target audience is national, and, as has been the case since it was formed, contributions continued to pour in from across the country.

The group has reported spending $19.5 million since 2018, and it still had $12.7 million in the bank as of Sept. 30. That’s more than the state’s political parties.

The numbers make it clear Abrams — a former state House Democratic leader — will have no trouble building a gigantic war chest if she seeks a rematch with Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022.

Fair Fight Action and Fair Fight’s PAC were formed in the wake of the 2018 elections, during which Abrams and supporters raised questions about what they saw as a Republican effort to suppress the vote. Kemp, who was secretary of state and thus responsible for state elections at the time, rejected the criticism, pointing to an increase in voter registrations in the years leading up to the election.

Fair Fight Action filed a federal lawsuit in 2018 alleging widespread voting problems in Georgia, including broken-down machines, long lines, inaccurate results, canceled absentee ballots and voter registrations that either had been canceled or had gone missing. The case is ongoing..

The PAC has followed much the same fundraising pattern as Abrams' campaign. While her campaign raised millions in Georgia, far more money flowed — often in small-dollar donations — from out-of-state contributors across the country. More than 90% of what Fair Fight’s PAC raised from July through Sept. 30 came from outside Georgia.

Abrams' campaign in 2018 raised and spent about $27.4 million, a record for a gubernatorial contest in Georgia.

Overall, Abrams, Kemp and groups supporting them spent about $100 million on the race, and if there is a rematch in 2022, they could break that mark.

Fair Fight’s PAC has contributed about $5 million to Democratic Party efforts across the country heading toward the November election, including at least $1.4 million to the Democratic Party of Georgia.

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