— Press Release

NEW: Fundraising Signals Strong Campaign Momentum and Grassroots Support, Detailed Memo Underlines Investment Strategy, High Stakes in Defeating Incumbent 

Abrams for Governor and One Georgia Leadership Committee raise $28 million and filed with $18.5 million on hand for fundraising period through June 30  

ATLANTA – Today, Abrams for Governor and One Georgia Leadership Committee announced that they raised more than $28 million dollars and filed with $18.5 million cash on hand combined between Abrams for Governor and the One Georgia Leadership Committee for the fundraising period through June 30, 2022. This is the first time One Georgia Leadership Committee has reported its fundraising totals.

Since the campaign’s launch in December 2021, more than 240,000 grassroots donors have made contributions of $100 or less, with the majority giving $25 or less, to ensure that Georgians have leadership that is committed to giving their families and communities the opportunity to thrive.

Abrams for Governor campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, released a new memo detailing the campaign’s fundraising and investment strategy and said the following about Abrams for Governor and One Georgia Leadership Committee’s fundraising numbers: 

“The Abrams for Governor campaign is gaining momentum thanks to robust and diverse funding streams fueled by nearly a quarter-million grassroots donors giving $100 or less. As we look ahead to November to unseat an extreme incumbent who has championed a dangerous and unpopular far-right agenda and signed legislation to give himself unlimited money, we know that we have to out-raise and out-work his built-in advantages of free media and his doling out of funds secured by federal Democrats that he opposed. Because of Georgia’s closely-divided electorate, victory depends on deep, continuous and thoughtful engagement with the most diverse electorate in the state’s history. Our proven strategy in 2018, which was validated in 2020 and 2021, relies on an intense combination of traditional outreach, innovative communication tools, voter turnout operations and voter protection models that anticipate barriers to participation. We are in an uphill battle, but our vision of One Georgia is within reach, and we are excited to make it so.”

Below are key takeaways from the memo detailing the Abrams for Governor and One Georgia Leadership Committee fundraising and investment strategy:

Incumbency is its own financial advantage. As the incumbent in this race, Brian Kemp has access and opportunity not afforded to Stacey. As governor, he receives statewide earned media for every announcement he makes, even if the announcement is the result of something he once opposed. Despite callingthe American Rescue Plan “a slap in the face to hardworking Georgians” and urging Georgia’s majority GOP Congressional delegation and U.S. Senators to oppose it, Kemp has wasted no time taking credit for the federal funds it provided. Moreover, the hypocrisy is rarely included in announcements about the distributions. Instead, he often receives uncritical mentions that allow him free advertising without meaningful contrast. The funds, secured by U.S. Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, boosted state revenues and the state budget by billions of dollars, which helped deliver $1.1 billion for tax refunds, $422 million for water and sewer projects, $408 million for rural broadband expansion and more. A new influx of surplus funding will likely yield similar coverage, giving him visibility without context. The net result is that we must spend advertising dollars to properly characterize his actions and to generate equal coverage.

We cannot underestimate Brian Kemp’s fundraising capacity. During the last reporting period, we were behind Kemp overall, with approximately $6 million on hand compared to Kemp’s $10.7 million. Although our current fundraising is ahead of Kemp’s, we do not have access to several avenues afforded to him as a Republican incumbent. Recent reports detail how he is already expanding his fundraising apparatus in response to our network. The appropriate analog is Governor Ron DeSantis, who has amassed a war chestof $124 million, including 42 billionaire donors. With a competitive race and the new normal of unlimited contributions, we must assume Kemp can secure financing from a number of those donors. In addition, he has several motivated and well funded allies who spent over $6 million in advertising alone to support Kemp in his primary fight against Perdue.  These outside groups will likely get into the general election fight as well on his behalf. In short, our campaign must continue to fundraise aggressively to remain competitive.

Our campaign has made substantial investments in order to define our candidate and anchor our campaign.  During the primary period, although we did not have an opponent, the Kemp campaign and allied GOP entities outspent our operation on television, the primary medium for communications. They purchased $12.1M in statewide television, which included innumerable mentions of Stacey. This created a two-track negative approach for Kemp, where he could marshal resources for primary and general messaging due to the underwhelming competition between him and Perdue. In this phase, we were outspent on the air by $5 million, but instead focused our efforts on running a cost-effective media effort that allowed us to push back on false Republican narratives and reintroduce Stacey’s biography and accomplishments.

Kemp continues to selectively edit statements in order to misrepresent Stacey’s positions on issues, and our obligation is to forcefully combat his lies and counter with factual information. This typically requires double the effort of the original smear, increasing our costs. For the summer, we have built a large-scale effort to flip the script from the primary period, running persuasive, culturally competent and relevant paid media across all types of communication channels. In addition, we have continued to ramp up our earned efforts and Stacey’s vigorous statewide travel, all of which combine to sharply highlight Kemp and his top vulnerabilities.

In addition, we are laser-focused on reaching a diverse coalition of voters, articulating a positive vision for One Georgia, and presenting Stacey’s credentials and capacity to lead. Again, while Brian Kemp can rely on the advantage of incumbency to garner media attention, our campaign has to spend money to get our message out. We have made an early, deliberate and productive effort to ensure that our message is heard across various mediums statewide, in multiple languages and in response to regional or demographic concerns.

Read the full memo here.