Secretary of State Brian Kemp raised about $1.7 million in the opening months of his campaign for governor, a strong initial showing in the wide-open 2018 contest.
Kemp was the first candidate to formally announce for governor, entering the race in late March, and he’s running as a pro-Donald Trump candidate who aims to rally the state GOP’s rural base with a “Georgia First” campaign.
He’s trying to position himself as the top rival to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the presumptive front-runner and one of four Republicans in a contest that also includes state Sens. Hunter Hill and Michael Williams.
Kemp’s supporters were quick to note that his fundraising haul, while paling in comparison to the eye-popping numbers for Georgia’s 6th District race, was among the largest in the opening stages of a gubernatorial contest without an incumbent.
In 2010, by contrast, the top candidate raised about $1.2 million in the first financial fundraising report. That contender was Cagle, who later dropped out of the race and ran for re-election to Georgia’s No. 2 job instead.
The specifics of his report were not immediately available. Hill’s campaign said he has raised more than $1 million during the March-to-June fundraising period. Cagle is likely to top the $1 million mark as well, while Williams is expected to dip into his personal fortune to help finance his campaign.