Kemp raises $2.7M in less than a month for reelection bid

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a gubernatorial Republican primary debate, Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, Pool)

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a gubernatorial Republican primary debate, Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, Pool)

Gov. Brian Kemp added $2.7 million to his campaign account in the 26 days following the close of the legislative session, ending the latest reporting period with $10.7 million in cash on hand.

The governor raised roughly $100,000 a day between April 5 and April 30, his campaign said Monday. State law bans the governor, along with other statewide officials and legislative incumbents, from collecting campaign cash during the legislative session, which ended April 4.

The fundraising limits combined with a competitive GOP primary against former U.S. Sen. David Perdue forced Kemp to deplete some of his financial cushion. The governor started the year with more than $12 million in the bank.

In that January report, Kemp had far out-raised Perdue, a wealthy former Fortune 500 executive who has yet to disclose his latest figures. Perdue collected about $1.1 million in the first two months of his campaign and hadn’t yet pumped his own money into his bid.

That fundraising report showed that many of the same donors who helped finance Perdue’s two U.S. Senate campaigns were either staying neutral in his underdog bid to oust the governor or backing Kemp.

Since then, Perdue has said he would dip into his own wallet to help his campaign. The Trump-backed candidate also benefited from a Florida fundraiser held by the former president in March. And Trump-aligned outside groups have spent at least $2.5 million on pro-Perdue ads.

In a series of debates that wrapped up Sunday, both Republicans claim they are the best candidate to defeat Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is making her second run for governor.

Abrams has yet to disclose her latest figures but raised more than $9.2 million between December and January – outpacing Kemp and Perdue. She also won a legal battle that blocked a special pro-Kemp leadership committee from raising cash until the May 24 primary is decided.

Kemp’s total doesn’t include other funds raised by the leadership committee, created by the Republican-controlled Legislature to allow the governor and other incumbents to raise unlimited cash. Abrams and Perdue both challenged the law in court, saying it gave the governor an unfair edge.

Ahead in the polls against Perdue, Kemp hasn’t yet shifted his focus entirely to Abrams. His most pressing priority is landing an outright victory against Perdue in the primary to avoid an unpredictable June runoff.

“The momentum is with our campaign,” said Kemp campaign manager Bobby Saparow, “and we will continue to outwork our competition to secure wins in May and November.”

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