The lavish spending habits of failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams left her campaign facing a massive cash crunch that led to last-minute cuts to TV spending and employee benefits, a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has revealed.
Abrams raised a staggering $103 million for her failed rematch with incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, a record-setting war chest that allowed her to try unconventional methods of swinging the election in her favor.
Among these methods included a "rented house in an expensive Atlanta neighborhood meant for TikTok creators that sat largely unused" and a "pop-up shop and 'swag truck'" that baffled her campaign staffers.
This week, Abrams campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo confirmed the campaign still owes more than $1 million to vendors after a “cavalcade of negative press" and polls showing her trailing Kemp by double digits damaged their fundraising efforts in the final weeks of the campaign.
Groh-Wargo added that the campaign had "engaged brokers to sell their donor and voter contact databases to try to pay down the debt over time."
“Of course, I would have loved to do a lot of things differently,” she continued. “But I had to move as fast as possible. We tried to do the best we could to make sure that help would be there for folks.”
Another staffer told Axios: “People have told me they have no idea how they’re going to pay their rent in January... It was more than unfortunate. It was messed up.”
Abrams eventually lost to Kemp by around 7.5 points, an extremely disappointing result given the success of Democrat Raphael Warnock in the state's hotly contested race as well as the closeness of her 2018 campaign.
“We did not just lose, we got blown out,” Groh-Wargo added. “It was the most sub-optimal situation to be in. And we will be dealing with that situation for some time.”