Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams’ Campaign Manager Says Negative Press and Polling Resulted in $1M Debt

Voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams raised more than $100 million during her second run for governor, but her campaign is currently more than $1 million in debt to vendors.

11 Alive reports Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams’ manager for both her 2018 and 2022 campaigns, confirmed the debt to Axios, adding that negative press and polling made fund-raising difficult for the campaign in the final weeks leading up to the 2022 midterm elections.

The lack of cash forced the campaign to cut its ad spending from between $2 and $3 million in October to just $800,000 in the week before the election. In comparison, Gov. Brian Kemp spent more than $2 million on advertising the same week, according to Axios.

A former staffer also told 11 Alive that the majority of Abrams’ 180 campaign staff members have not been paid since November 15. However, the staffer added that during the campaign they were well-compensated, received health benefits through November, and the campaign’s human resources department helped staffers find new jobs after the election.

“If we had ended the campaign with enough money to pay staff through January, and we lost—I think there would be pieces coming out about why does [the campaign] have like $2 million in the bank,” the former staffer said.

“I think the campaign was as transparent about things as it possibly could be.”

Abrams ran on a platform of Medicaid expansion, abortion rights, voting rights, and using the Peach State’s budget surplus to improve everything from infrastructure to education for its residents.

While she had the support of young college-aged voters and Black women, her support among Black men struggled despite making an effort to appeal to them with appearances on the 85 South Show podcast and a panel with radio personality Charlamagne Tha God and rapper 21 Savage.

Abrams wasn’t the only Democrat in Georgia who failed to win during the midterms.

Sen. Raphael Warnock was the only Democrat in a statewide race in Georgia who won during the 2022 midterm elections.