Abrams’ voting rights group has raised $26 million since 2018 election

While Stacey Abrams was being talked up as a possible Democratic vice presidential pick this spring, the voting rights organization she founded was collecting more donations than all of the state primary candidates and two major political parties in Georgia combined.

Since February, the political action committee for Fair Fight has raised about $6.3 million, most of it from out-of-state donors and a good bit of it funnelled to 18 state Democratic parties to help efforts to make sure people can vote and their vote is counted this fall, according to new reports filed Wednesday.

About $4.2 million was raised just in the past two months — during the coronavirus pandemic — and the group said it took in a record $1.5 million in online donations in June.

In contrast, the two major parties in Georgia raised about $1.2 million during the same period and state lawmakers raised little for re-election because, by law, they couldn’t collect money during the 2020 General Assembly session, which didn’t end until near the end of the reporting period after being suspended due to the pandemic.

Fair Fight’s PAC reported having about $14.5 million in the bank as of June 30.

Since Abrams’ narrow defeat in the 2018 gubernatorial election, Fair Fight’s PAC has raised about $26 million.

The numbers make it clear Abrams — a former state House Democratic leader — will have no trouble building a gigantic war chest if she seeks a rematch with Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022.

“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring support of Americans across the country who have joined our fight for free and fair elections,” said Lauren Groh-Wargo, senior advisor to Fair Fight and Abrams’ campaign manager. “With the support of more than 50,000 contributors and volunteers in the last month alone, we are well positioned to fight back against Donald Trump’s voter suppression machine so that every eligible American is able to cast their vote and have it counted.”

Fair Fight Acton and Fair Fight’s PAC were formed in the wake of 2018 elections, during which Abrams and supporters raised questions about what they saw as a Republican effort to suppress the vote. Kemp, who was Secretary of State and thus responsible for state elections at the time, rejected the criticism, pointing to an increase in voter registrations in the years leading up to the election.

Fair Fight Action filed a federal lawsuit in 2018 alleging widespread voting problems in Georgia, including broken-down machines, long lines, inaccurate results, canceled absentee ballots and voter registrations that either had been canceled or had gone missing. The case is ongoing.

Abrams shifted $1 million from her campaign to the group after ending her bid to contest Kemp’s election.

The PAC has followed much the same fundraising pattern as Abrams’ campaign. While her campaign raised millions in Georgia, far more money flowed — often in small-dollar donations — from out-of-state donors across the country. More than 90% of what Fair Fight’s PAC raised in May and June came from outside of Georgia.

Abrams’ campaign in 2018 raised and spent about $27.4 million, a record for a gubernatorial contest in Georgia.

Overall, Abrams, Kemp and groups supporting them spent about $100 million on the race, and if there is a rematch in 2022, they could break that mark.

Fair Fight’s PAC has contributed millions to Democratic Party efforts across the country heading toward the November election, including about $700,000 to the Georgia Democratic Party.

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