When Democrat Stacey Abrams originally ran for governor of Georgia in 2018, Republicans seized on her shaky personal finances and a large IRS bill to cast doubt on her ability to handle a state budget.
That’s no longer an issue when she launches a second bid this year.
According to state declarations made in March, Abrams now claims a net worth of $3.17 million. When she initially ran for office four years ago, she had a net worth of $109,000.
Her meteoric rise in national politics has coincided with her quick elevation to wealthy status. Abrams has risen to prominence as a voting rights advocate since her defeat by Republican Brian Kemp in 2018.
Although she wasn’t considered a possible vice presidential running mate for President Biden, she is largely recognized for mobilizing Georgians in support of him, which helped him win the state for the first time in 28 years as a Democratic presidential candidate. In the process, she’s made $6 million, the majority of which came from book and lecture royalties.
When Abrams was first elected in 2016, she faced criticism from Republicans for being too wealthy and out of touch with the everyday people of Georgia. As a representative of the Republican Party, Garrison Douglas claimed that Stacey Abrams was using her campaign “for her personal financial advantage.”
Ex-President Trump criticized her for “living in these lovely multi-multimillion-dollar residences” at an event in the state last month.
Trump, on the other hand, spends most of the year at his opulent Mar-a-Lago estate, where Abrams has yet to spend a penny more than $1 million. Both incumbent Kemp and Republican opponent David Perdue, who are vying for the party’s gubernatorial ticket, are significantly wealthier than she is.
Asked about Republicans’ criticism of her financial status, Abrams said it was ironic because the party regularly praised her hard work as a result of her achievement.
Astonishing to me that Republicans are demonizing achievement,” she said. “I’m confident in my ability to succeed.” In my opinion, every person should be given the chance to succeed in their lives. Since I had three years of private sector experience, I used that period to my advantage, not just for my own success but also for the benefit of Georgians.”
After being elected to a high post, many politicians begin to amass a fortune. In contrast, Abrams, despite her defeat, has achieved a level of fame uncommon for someone whose highest office to date is the minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives. \
It was in 2021, just before she announced her second candidacy for governor, that she reaped the benefits of her status, with her income rising to $3.65 million.
In 2021, she gave 37 paid talks, including a 12-stop fall tour, according to Abrams campaign spokesperson Seth Bringman. A new reprint of one of her works is expected to be released later this year.
Georgia native Stacey Abrams is best known for leading a historic voter registration drive and penning several novels in the process.
Stacey Abrams is a ‘certainly a planner’ in both politics and literature.
The Southern Economic Advancement Project, a Roosevelt Institute affiliate working to create economic justice in the South, likewise paid Abrams more than $700,000 over a three-year period as executive director. A former chair of the voting rights nonprofit Fair Fight Action, Abrams has not acknowledged any remuneration from the organization.
As a longstanding business partner, Abrams published a business book last year and also reported interest in other companies. Now Account Network Corp., a company that finances businesses by purchasing invoices, has been a long-time holding.
New board member: Abrams has recently joined Heliogen, a California firm that uses solar to heat industrial processes, generate power, and produce hydrogen fuel. Heliogen stock was valued at $65,000 by Abrams.
There is around $8.5 million worth of assets in the form of real estate that Kemp amassed before he decided to run for Georgia’s governor. After serving as CEO of Dollar General and Reebok, Perdue has a net worth of $50 million, making him the wealthiest former U.S. senator. Perdue earned $9.3 million in 2021, whereas Kemp earned $551,000 in the same year.
In 2018, Kemp slammed Abrams for owing the IRS $54,000 in unpaid self-employment taxes. She said at the time that she was unable to pay since her parents were struggling to raise a child and pay medical bills.
It is possible to postpone your tax obligations with the Internal Revenue Service. At the time, Abrams remarked, “Cancer treatments can’t be delayed.
He also owed $96,000 on his college loans and $83,000 on credit cards at the end of 2018, according to data from the Federal Reserve. In order to get her first nonfiction book published, a publisher paid her a $150,000 advance.
Abrams claimed in her book “Minority Leader” that she took out the loan when she “barely scratched the surface” of personal financial knowledge.
In 2019, she paid off her education debts, IRS debt, and credit card debt. Abrams had a meager retirement fund of less than $5,000 when she initially ran for governor. She now owns shares and bonds worth more than $725,000.
After seeing her financial situation improve, Abrams decided to upgrade her townhouse to a more spacious home.
This $975,000 house outside Atlanta’s city boundaries, near Emory University, was purchased by Abrams in 2020 with a $760,000 mortgage, according to the report of her finances. In 2019, she paid $370,000 for a 3,300-square-foot suburban Atlanta home for her parents, while having over $280,000 in mortgage debt, according to public documents and disclosures.
Even though she has $560,000 set aside in a “tax account,” it is not known how much Abrams pays in taxes or how much she donates to charity. Abrams’ tax returns will be released later this year after she submits her 2021 tax filings, according to Bringman.
Replying to questions about whether the state financial declaration is sufficient, Kemp spokesman Tate Mitchell said the incumbent will release further evidence down the road “if necessary.” When asked about whether or not Perdue would reveal his tax returns, spokesman Jenni Sweat claimed Perdue had completed state and federal disclosure forms and had been “open about his income.”
In the US, people don’t worry about riches per se, according to Georgetown University professor Marko Klasnja, and he doesn’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Klasnja has researched the sources and repercussions of politicians’ wealth.
There is little evidence that this will harm Abrams much, and if it is proven to be a result of book deals rather than her positions on corporate boards, then perhaps the public will view it in a different light.