A review of two-day reports — filings candidates make in the weeks before an election any time they collect donations of $1,000 or more — showed Kemp took in about $850,000 in big-money contributions over the past three weeks. Perdue reported collecting about $165,000.
On one day, May 5, Kemp reported collecting about $148,000 in big-money donations, mostly from South Georgia. Perdue didn’t report any contributions of $1,000 or more that day. On May 10 Kemp raised a similar amount, including several contributions from St. Simons Island, Perdue’s stomping grounds. Perdue reported collecting three contributions totaling about $20,000 that day.
Perdue — as is typical of former members of Congress — received a much higher percentage of his contributions from out-of-state donors than Kemp. Incumbent governors traditionally raise a lot of money from lobbyists, their clients and other business interests with a big stake in state government.
Democratic-nominee-to-be Stacey Abrams — who had raised almost as much in six months as Kemp did in more than three years before May 1 — collected about $675,000 in big-money contributions in the three weeks leading up to the primary. Like Perdue, much of that money came from out-of-state donors, including $7,600 from Melinda Gates, $7,600 from actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson and $1,000 from country star Trisha Yearwood.
The two-day reports don’t give a full picture since candidates also receive smaller contributions. Abrams’ campaign in particular has a massive national small-dollar contribution network that helped her raise the most money in Georgia gubernatorial race history when she ran against Kemp in 2018. Kemp narrowly won that race. Abrams is running unopposed in Tuesday’s primary and will face Kemp in a rematch if he wins the GOP primary.