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Judge curbs Kemp’s fundraising advantage over Abrams

Stacey Abrams visits Augusta on March 19, 2022.
Stacey Abrams visits Augusta on March 19, 2022.(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 3:19 PM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - A federal judge has cut back the fundraising advantage incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has held over Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams.

Judge Mark Cohen on Thursday told a special committee to stop raising money for Kemp’s re-election bid until or unless the GOP gubernatorial nomination has been decided.

Under a state law Abrams has challenged, the committee had been allowed to raise unlimited funds for Kemp, while Abrams was denied that same ability.

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Abrams is the only Democratic candidate, while Kemp must still go through a primary election in an effort to gain the Republican nomination. He faces former Sen. David Perdue and several other candidates.

But technically neither Abrams nor Kemp is their party’s nominee until after the primary is decided.

The latest ruling means after the primary, Abrams and the GOP nominee will both be able to raise unlimited funds.

The GOP-passed law has applied to sitting officials as well as their nominated opponents, giving incumbents an advantage.

Abrams’ first step in fighting the law was trying to get a judge to let her raise unlimited funds before the primary. The judge denied that.

Her second step was to ask the judge to remove Kemp’s advantage, and the judge agreed Thursday to that.

In a sharply worded ruling, the judge said the law was unconstitutional.

Abrams’ campaign praised the ruling because of the unfair advantage it gave incumbents.

“We are pleased the Court both recognized and offered a remedy today for the unconstitutional fundraising advantage Brian Kemp signed into law benefiting himself,” campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said in a statement, “After months and months of Brian Kemp having exclusive ability to raise unlimited funds as a result of the bill he signed, Kemp will no longer be able to raise these funds while Stacey Abrams and One Georgia are denied equal ability to operate under the same rules.”

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