Stacey Abrams is cutting deeper into Brian Kemp’s financial lead

Gov. Brian Kemp, the incumbent Republican, is being challenged this election by Democrat Stacey Abrams. (AJC)

Credit: AJC

Credit: AJC

Gov. Brian Kemp, the incumbent Republican, is being challenged this election by Democrat Stacey Abrams. (AJC)

Gov. Brian Kemp still has more cash in his campaign account than his rivals – but Stacey Abrams is fast catching up despite her late start.

The Democrat said Wednesday she raised $11.7 million in the three-month span between February and April, ending the reporting period with more than $8 million in the bank. She collected contributions from more than 187,000 donors.

Kemp reported this week that he 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.

Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who is challenging Kemp with Donald Trump’s support, hasn’t yet disclosed his latest financial details. But he lagged far behind both Abrams and Kemp in his last fundraising report, ending with less than $1 million in the bank.

Abrams, who entered the race in December, disclosed her financial report on the same day she announced she is temporarily pausing her fundraising solicitations and shifting her focus to collecting donations to help abortion rights groups in Georgia.

The decision is yet another indication how the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft opinion that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide has upended Georgia’s campaign trail.

Kemp and Perdue have both welcomed the yet-to-be-issued ruling, though it’s sparked another divide between the two rivals ahead of the May 24 primary.

Perdue has pressured the governor to call a special legislative session to outlaw all forms of abortion, a move that would go beyond a 2019 law that would ban the procedure after a doctor can detect fetal cardiac activity — typically about six weeks into a pregnancy.

Abrams’ disclosure is only the latest indication of the growing fundraising power of Georgia Democrats after flipping the state in 2020 and sweeping both U.S. Senate runoffs in 2021.

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock has set a string of fundraising records as he prepares for a bruising November matchup against likely GOP nominee Herschel Walker, ending the latest quarter with $25.6 million in the bank.

And Abrams recently won a legal battle that blocked a special pro-Kemp leadership committee from raising unlimited cash until the May 24 primary is decided.

The Democrat, who has raised a staggering $21 million since she entered the race, has already spent more than $9 million in five months. That includes a mix of TV, digital and radio ads promoting Abrams’ “One Georgia” campaign theme.