Georgia 2018: Democrat Abrams nets $500K in governor bid

Stacey Abrams speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams raised about $540,000 in less than a month for her campaign for Georgia governor. But her campaign pointed as much to another number on her report: She netted donations from 3,000 contributors, and half were under $25.

Abrams, who entered the race in early June, has pledged to expand pre-kindergarten programs and make technical college education free. She has received a flood of national attention for her run: She would be the first black governor in Georgia – and the first black female governor in the nation.

The Democrat’s campaign said in a statement that she has spent the opening weeks hiring staff, traveling the state and building a get-out-the-vote effort.

She’s also sought early funding from national sources, including a New York fundraiser hosted by Alexander Soros, the son of billionaire Democratic mega-donor George Soros. More than half of her donors came from out of state.

And she sports endorsements from several prominent groups, including Democracy for America, Emily’s List and several unions who plan to marshal their resources behind her campaign.

Abrams faces state Rep. Stacey Evans, a Smyrna Democrat who has made improving the popular HOPE scholarship the centerpiece of her campaign, in next year’s Democratic primary. Evans has yet to report her financial figures.

Four Republicans are in the race: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sens. Hunter Hill and Michael Williams. Cagle reported raising more than $2.7 million, while Kemp netted about $1.7 million. Hill said he topped the $1 million mark.

The fundraising figures are an important early gauge of a candidate’s strength, and they’re watched closely by activists and donors who have yet to pick a side in the race.

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