Kemp pads out campaign war chest ahead of tough reelection bid

Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempPerdue tests positive for COVID-19, campaign says Trump and Biden should stop denigrating US elections Legislatures move to limit governor powers after pandemic MORE is bulking up his reelection campaign’s war chest ahead of an expectedly tough GOP primary fight against former Sen. David PerdueDavid PerduePerdue tests positive for COVID-19, campaign says Perdue proposes election police force in Georgia Kemp campaign alleges Perdue team illegally coordinating with new fundraising committee MORE (Ga.) and a potential general election against Democrat Stacey Abrams.

The governor pulled in more than $7 million between July 1 and Jan. 9, his campaign confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday. That leaves him with more than $12 million in his campaign account as he kicks off the year. 

The fundraising haul was first reported on Tuesday by Fox News.

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The money will come in handy in what is expected to be a challenging race. Kemp is among former President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE’s top Republican targets of the 2022 midterm election cycle, and Perdue is running with the support of the former president.

If he makes it through the primary, Kemp is likely to face Abrams — a prolific fundraiser in her own right — in the November general election, a rematch that is expected to be among the closest-watched of the year.

Kemp, who won the GOP nomination for governor in 2018 after scoring Trump’s endorsement, has found himself isolated from Trump after he rejected the former president’s pressure to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Kemp’s fundraising announcement came a day after the start of the 2022 Georgia legislative session, when both the governor and state lawmakers are barred from raising money. The next official reporting deadline for fundraising doesn’t fall until the end of January.

While he won’t be able to raise money for his campaign directly while the legislature is in session, an affiliated “leadership committee” will be able to raise unlimited funds during that time. Such committees were authorized under a law passed by the GOP-controlled state legislature last year.

Perdue has filed a lawsuit challenging that law, arguing that it gives Kemp an unfair advantage because of his incumbent status.