Georgia’s six major candidates to replace Gov. Nathan Deal have tipped the $7 million mark in early fundraising.
The first round of reports published by the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission were due by midnight between Monday and Tuesday.
Candidates are keeping their powder dry this early in the race, with relatively little spending by the current field of four Republicans and two Democrats.
Gubernatorial candidate fundraising
- Casey Cagle – $2.7 million raised; $2.5 million on hand
- Brian Kemp – $1.7 million raised; $1.5 million on hand
- Hunter Hill – $1.15 million raised; $928,444 on hand
- Michael Williams – $1.05 million raised; $944,024 on hand
- Stacey Abrams – $541,758 raised; $222,468 on hand
- Stacey Evans – $415,319 raised; $365,825 on hand
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle leads the Republican pack with $2.7 million, the majority of it raised by high-dollar donations. He’s followed by Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who has raised $1.7 million. Both announced their candidacies in April.
State Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Atlanta, announced his fundraising haul of $1.15 million early Tuesday morning. Fellow Sen. Michael Williams, R-Cumming, followed suit, announcing that he’s raised $1.1 million.
In total, Republicans have raised about $6 million.
Among the Democrats, Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams raised $541,758 since she launched her campaign in early May. Fellow state Rep. Stacey Evans raised $415,319 since her campaign began in late May, bringing the total raised by the two Democrats to almost $1 million.
The total raised among all candidates is more than $7.6 million, and it was done in only five months, and in most cases, fewer. Kemp was the first to register in March, but most candidates didn’t file until April or later.
Candidates for governor can raise up to $21,000 from an individual source during the course of an entire campaign, from primary to runoffs to general election, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
The largest single donation allowed by an individual is $6,600, but individuals can donate to a campaign for both the primary and general elections.
Cagle has received 195 of those maximum donations, the largest number of any candidate. Hill has received 83, Kemp has received 75 and Williams has received just one.
In the Democratic primary, Abrams has 28 of the maximum donations and Evans has 22.
Williams, a Forsyth County senator and fierce supporter of President Donald Trump who filed to run on June 27, has spent the least of all the Republican candidates, with $107,806 in expenses for the first reporting period.
Cagle has spent $143,886, the second-least in the race, despite raising the most amount of cash so far. He’s followed in spending by Kemp ($186,691) and Hill ($220,084) in the Republican field. Hill has spent the most so far.
Cagle, who has been Georgia’s lieutenant governor for more than a decade, is sitting on the largest war chest in the race and has the highest statewide profile in the gubernatorial race so far.
It makes Cagle the one to beat, and Williams is taking aim early. The three-year state senator and Forsyth businessman has planned a press conference on Thursday “regarding reprehensible actions” by Cagle.
Williams’ campaign spokesman, Seth Weathers, said on Wednesday no information about the allegations is being released ahead of the press conference at the Georgia State Capitol. The announcement about the conference stated the “actions and corroborating details” will be presented on Thursday.
Cagle’s campaign was mum on the conference on Wednesday and didn’t respond to a request for information.
In the Democratic field, Abrams outraised Evans by more than $120,000 but spent $319,290 in the reporting period, the most of any candidate in the race so far, leaving Evans with a full $140,000 more in cash on hand at the end of June.
Abrams is the House Minority Leader and represents portions of Atlanta and DeKalb County. Evans is the chairwoman of the House minority caucus and resides in Smyrna, northwest of Atlanta.
This is the last reporting period for Georgia’s gubernatorial candidates in 2017, according to the state commission. The next reporting deadlines for campaigns in 2018 are Jan. 31, March 31, June 30, Sept. 30, Oct. 25 and Dec. 31.