Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams filed state financial disclosures that placed her net worth at $3.17 million, opening a new line of criticism from her Republican opponents who are now targeting her millionaire status, the Associated Press reports.
When Abrams ran for governor four years ago, her net worth was $109,000 and she owed $54,000 to the IRS for self-employment taxes that she didn’t pay on time. Her political rivals painted her as financially irresponsible and questioned her ability to oversee state finances.
Now, instead of criticizing Abrams’ financial management skills, GOP strategists are creating a narrative that the Democratic candidate is an out-of-touch elitist who can’t connect with the lives of average Georgians.
At a March political rally, former President Donald Trump falsely claimed that the voting rights advocate now lives “in these gorgeous multi-multi-million-dollar houses,” the AP reported. And national GOP spokesperson Garrison Douglas claimed that Abrams is using her campaign “as a platform for her own financial gain.”
According to the AP, the facts are that Abrams’ new home was financed by a $760,000 mortgage, and her GOP gubernatorial rivals are much wealthier than her. Incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp has a net worth of about $8.5 million and an income in 2021 of $551,000. Kemp’s Republican primary challenger, David Perdue, reported a net worth of $50 million and an income of $9.3 million.
Abrams’ new wealth stems in part from book deals and speaking engagements. Her campaign spokesperson, Seth Bringman, said Abrams gave 37 paid speeches in 2021 and has written, co-authored or reissued six books since 2019. Over a three-year period, she earned more than $700,000 in salary as executive director of the Southern Economic Advancement Project. She has also invested in several companies.
The Democratic superstar, who’s credited for spearheading Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff’s surprising U.S. Senate runoff victories in Georgia, said it’s ironic that Republicans are criticizing her financial success–something that the party typically values as evidence of hard work.
“I believe in success. I believe that every person should have the opportunity to thrive. And because I had three years where I was in the private sector, I leveraged all three years, and in that time, I’ve done my best to not only be successful personally but to do what I can to help Georgians,” the AP quoted Abrams.