Gov. Brian Kemp is far outraising his main Republican primary challenger, former Sen. David Perdue. The incumbent reported having $12.7 million in his main campaign account, while Perdue had less than $1 million in cash on hand.
Perdue raised $1.1 million by Jan. 31 after entering the race in early December, while Kemp banked $7.4 million in the seven months ended Jan. 31, according to their reports filed Monday.
While Perdue had much less time than Kemp, he raised far less than his rivals in his campaign’s first 56 days. Democrat Stacey Abrams, by comparison, raised $9.25 million after entering the race only a few days ahead of Perdue.
Kemp spokesperson Cody Hall called Perdue’s total “embarrassing.” He said Perdue’s “ego driven campaign is down in the polls” and “can’t raise money.”
“It is abundantly clear Gov. Kemp is the only Republican with the grassroots support, conservative record and resources to beat Stacy Abrams this November,” Hall said.
Perdue is betting that his support from former President Donald Trump can overcome his monetary disadvantage. His campaign also noted that Republican primary challenger Vernon Jones dropped out of the governor’s race and endorsed Perdue Monday,
“As the only Trump-endorsed candidate in this race, David Perdue has the message, the momentum, and the grassroots network to win in May and defeat Stacey Abrams in November,” Perdue spokesperson Jenni Sweat said. “While Brian Kemp collects checks from lobbyists and special interest groups, David Perdue is traveling around the state and connecting with thousands of everyday Georgians.”
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A legal challenge did help even the score somewhat when a federal judge preliminarily ordered Kemp on Monday not to spend money from a special leadership committee, which under state law can collect unlimited contributions even during the legislative session. Incumbents are barred from raising money for their personal campaign accounts while the General Assembly is meeting.
Kemp’s leadership committee, called Georgians First, raised $2.3 million and spent $1.7 million before the judge shut the tap with a preliminary injunction after Perdue sued claiming it was unfair.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.