Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Stacey Abrams' Finances Mirror Many Black Womens'

The would-be Georgia governor had to disclose her networth this week.

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Georgia gubernatorial Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams poses for a photo during an interview with The Associated Press on Dec. 16, 2021, in Decatur, Ga.
Georgia gubernatorial Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams poses for a photo during an interview with The Associated Press on Dec. 16, 2021, in Decatur, Ga.
Photo: Brynn Anderson, File (AP)

New disclosures about Stacey Abrams’ personal finances reveal that the Georgia gubernatorial candidate’s finances in some ways aren’t different from many Black womens, despite a seven-figure net worth.

Abrams, a Democrat, and the two Republicans battling in the GOP primary for Georgia governor all filed financial disclosures this week in accordance with state law. Although she’s not doing too bad–reporting a $3.17 million net worth and $6.5 million in income over the last three years, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution–Abrams has also been candid about financial issues, ranging from a five-figure tax bill to tying up much of her wealth in her parents’ home.

From the AJC

What caught attention was her disclosure that she owed the Internal Revenue Service roughly $54,000 over a two-year span, a revelation that ignited attacks from the GOP. She repaid the debt in 2019, closing off a potential weakness ahead of another run for governor.

Rather than downplaying the topic in 2018, Abrams took the unusual step of speaking openly about her financial struggles on the campaign trail. While she said deferring the tax payments in 2015 and 2016 to help pay her family’s medical expenses wasn’t the “smartest move,” it gave her flexibility to support them.

In her most recent financial disclosure, Abrams reported roughly $320,000 in cash on hand and $1.8 million worth of real estate holdings, most of it a home she bought days before the general election in 2020 that’s valued at $1.2 million. A second home she bought, in Stone Mountain, is for her parents, Abrams’ campaign said.

Save for the high net worth, it sounds a lot like many other Black women, who, even with high earnings, often face challenges associated with helping family members.

The median wealth of Black women under age 35 is only $101; that jumps to $40,760 by age 55, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that helping family members financially is a major factor that siphons income and erodes Black women’s ability to grown their wealth.

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Abrams’ financial disclosure reveals another parallel with the financial lives of Black women. It is the wealth gap between Abrams and her white, male opponents. While Abrams net worth far outpaces the median for Black women, it is eclipsed by that of incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp ($8.6 million) and former U.S. Sen. David Purdue ($50 million).

Nationally, unmarried white men under 35 have median wealth 224.2 times that of similarly situated Black women; by age 55, the gap closes to a multiple of about six. Abrams is 48; Kemp is 58 and Purdue is 72.