Abrams files lawsuit arguing fundraising disadvantage in Georgia

Stacey Abrams is suing for access to a new kind of fundraising vehicle that would allow her and other top candidates to raise unlimited sums of money for her bid for Georgia governor.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Monday, argues that Abrams is already effectively the Democratic nominee and should be allowed to form a so-called leadership committee that could take in unlimited donations. 

The use of those leadership committees was approved last year under a new law backed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who is running for a second term and has already formed such a committee. The committees can be used by a select few top candidates, including the incumbent governor and major party nominees.

The lawsuit from Abrams’s campaign and her yet-to-be-approved leadership committee, One Georgia, argues that because Abrams faces no primary opposition, she has already clinched the Democratic nomination and should be allowed access to the same kind of fundraising vehicle as Kemp.

The Georgia gubernatorial primaries are currently set for May 24.

“Brian Kemp signed legislation giving himself exclusive access to a special fundraising committee, and he’s already raised millions of dollars into it,” Abrams’s campaign said in a statement. “Our campaign should have that same access.”

Among the supporting documents in the case is an affidavit from Georgia Democratic Party Chair Nikema Williams recognizing Abrams as the party’s nominee for governor. 

A signed declaration from Abrams campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo also argues that by not yet approving Abrams’s leadership committee, the state Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission is effectively putting Abrams at a disadvantage.

“The Commission’s refusal to confirm One Georgia’s current lawful status as a leadership committee chaired by the Democratic gubernatorial nominee imposes severe burdens on Plaintiffs,” the declaration says.

Former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), who’s challenging Kemp for the Republican nomination, has already sued Kemp over the leadership committee. A judge sided with Perdue in that case and barred Kemp from using the money in the primary, though not in the general election.

Tags 2022 2022 midterm elections 2022 midterms Brian Kemp David Perdue Election 2022 Fundraising Georgia Georgia governor's race Georgia politics leadership committees Stacey Abrams
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