Federal Judge Rules Stacey Abrams Cannot Yet Collect Unlimited Donations in Georgia Governor Race

A federal judge has ruled that Stacey Abrams cannot yet collect unlimited donations in the Georgia governor’s race.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Cohen from the Northern District of Georgia ruled that Abrams cannot collect unlimited donations as allowed under Georgia law because she is not yet the official Democrat nominee for governor.

Abrams is the only Democrat running for governor of Georgia, but she won’t officially become the nominee until after the May 24 primary.

Abrams and her One Georgia political action committee filed a federal lawsuit in March that challenges a new law that allows the governor and lieutenant governor, opposing major party nominees, and both Republican and Democrat party caucuses in the Georgia General Assembly to form leadership committees. Those committees are allowed to raise unlimited campaign dollars and can coordinate with a candidate’s campaign.

Candidates for office that do not fall under the new law’s criteria are limited to collecting a maximum of $7,600 in primaries or general elections. The limit for runoff elections is $4,500.

They also asked in the suit for the judge to stop the Georgia State Ethics Commission from taking any punitive action against them if they continue their fundraising before the May 24 primary.

Judge Cohen, in his ruling, denied both Abrams’ motions for a preliminary injunction as well as the defendant’s motion for an “Order to Certify a Question of Law to the Supreme Court of Georgia.”

In his opinion, Judge Cohen wrote, “This Court will not rewrite Georgia law to enable One Georgia to stand in the same shoes as a leadership committee that, in Plaintiffs’ view, is operating in violation of the First Amendment.”

Incumbent Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is not allowed to continue raising and spending unlimited funds from his leadership committee Georgians First to bolster his own re-election efforts, due to a previous ruling by Judge Cohen in a different case.

If Kemp attains the GOP nomination for governor after the May 24 Republican primary or potential subsequent runoff, his committee can resume normal operations in support of Kemp’s re-election.

The leadership committee was allowed to continue to receive contributions and make expenditures in support of other Georgia elected officials in accordance with campaign finance law limits.

Former U.S. Senator David Perdue is running against Kemp in the GOP primary and has been endorsed for the office by President Donald Trump.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitter, and Parler.
Photo “Stacey Abrams” by Stacey Abrams.


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