Stacey Abrams to run for governor in Georgia
Stacey Abrams, a Georgia Democrat and leading suffrage activist, said Wednesday that she will launch another campaign to become the nation’s first black woman governor.
Without serious competition in the Democratic primaries, the announcement could set up a rematch between Abrams and incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp. Their 2018 contest was one of the narrowest decided for governor that year and was dominated by allegations of voter suppression, which Kemp has denied.
However, Abrams’ strong showing convinced national Democrats that Georgia was no longer considered a GOP stronghold. Her and subsequent organizational performance convinced Joe Biden to invest heavily in the state in 2020, and he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win it since 1992. The party then followed. won a narrow majority in the Senate after winning two special elections in Georgia.
The 2022 gubernatorial race will test whether those gains are a one-time phenomenon driven by displeasure with then-President Donald Trump or mark the beginning of a consequential political shift. than in a rapidly growing and diversifying South. The Democrats’ loss in the Virginia gubernatorial election could raise questions about whether Abrams’ outspoken liberal approach can work in a national environment that currently tends to be anti-Democratic. or not.
In a video announcing his candidacy, Abrams said that “opportunities and success in Georgia should not be determined by background or access to power.”
Abrams said she will provide “leadership that knows how to do the job, leadership that takes credit without taking responsibility, leadership that understands the real pain people are feeling, and has a real plan in place. It’s the governor’s job, to fight for our one Georgia, Georgia.”
Kemp said in a statement that Abrams was engaged in a “never ending campaign for power” in his bid to become president, linking her to what he said was “the failed Biden agenda.” lose.”
“Her agenda of open borders, gun confiscation, high taxes and anti-law enforcement does not reflect us as Georgians,” Kemp said.
In a state where Democrats often seek – and fail – to gain power by leaning on Black voters and calling on older moderate whites, Abrams ran in 2018 as a Progressives do not repent. 47-year-old Abrams accepted expanded access to Medicaid, something a number of Republican governors have refused to do and advocated abortion rights.
Georgia remains narrowly divided, and voters often reject the president’s party in the next election. But in abandoning centrist nods, Abrams insists Democrats can attract new voters, including those moving to the booming Atlanta area, who have not yet engaged Black voters. previous elections and younger, more liberal white voters.
Although Kemp beat her by 1.4 percentage points, Abrams won 778,000 more votes than the previous Democrat to run for governor.
Abrams was defiant in the face of defeat in 2018, conceding Kemp as the winner but refusing to give in to the race, citing “mismanagement” in his role as secretary of state overseeing the election. She alleges Kemp used her office to actively purge inactive voters, enforcing a “exact match” policy to check the identities of voters leaving registration in limbo. and otherwise tilt the outcome in his favor.
Kemp has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
After the election, Abrams started Fair Fight, an organizing group that raised more than $100 million and built a statewide political run, attracting hundreds of thousands of new voters in Georgia. The state saw record turnout in the 2020 presidential race and January senate elections.
Now, Abrams and Kemp look like they could face a rematch in a new political climate. First, Kemp faces opposition from Trump and his most staunch GOP supporters for not supporting the former president’s baseless argument that he was tricked out of the election through fraud. major voters, including in Georgia. Elections officials conducted three recounts in the state, each confirming Biden’s victory.
Trump, who campaigned for Kemp in 2018, is now one of the governor’s strongest critics. The former president held a rally in the state in September, criticizing former US Senator David Perdue to run against Kemp and sarcastically suggesting to the crowd that he preferred Abrams to the incumbent governor. .
“I’m going to beat her up again, but it’s going to be hard to do with Brian Kemp, because the MAGA base won’t vote for him…”, Trump said in the statement. “But some good Republicans will run, and some good Republicans will get my endorsement, and some good Republicans will WIN!”
Since the protest, Perdue has privately consulted with top Republicans about a possible bid and suggested in a radio interview last month that “a lot of people feel feels like the people in power … have had to accept a lot of things in 2020 without “having to,” a reference to Kemp’s refusal to overturn Biden’s Georgia win.
Kemp’s denial of issues in Georgia’s election results hasn’t stopped him from pushing through limited changes to voting laws in response to Trump’s 2020 national defeat. Many Democrats worry that Georgia’s new law will erode Democrats’ chances. Others hope the new law will invigorate supporters and make them more determined to vote.
Abrams used voting concerns to lobby Democrats, telling the Associated Press in April that “Republicans are playing the system game because they’re afraid of losing an election.”
Republicans, meanwhile, have been trying to use Abrams to incentivize their voters. Earlier this year, Kemp’s allies pre-formed a group called Stop Stacey, aimed specifically at preventing her from winning governorship in 2022.
Abrams faces holes on several fronts. Her national stature may raise questions that she is more interested in high office than running Georgia. Republicans have tried to blame her for Major League Baseball’s decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Atlanta last year because of backlash over the new restrictive voting law, despite Abrams repeatedly stopping prevent boycotts.
Going forward, she is part of a growing group of black women seeking office statewide.
Democrat Deirdre DeJear is running for governor in Iowa. In Florida, Democratic Representative Val Demings is running for the Senate. In North Carolina, former State Senator Erica Smith and former Chief Justice Cheri Beasley are competing in the Democratic primaries for the Senate.
And in Virginia, Winsome Sears was elected lieutenant colonel governor as a Republican.
But no one is as national as Abrams.
Since 2018, Abrams has been on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She has been featured in Vogue and interviewed on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s podcast. She has written two books, including a legal thriller. She did a 12 city talking tour. She considered running for president in 2020 before deciding against it. When Biden became the nominee, she publicly campaigned to be his running mate, a position that went to Kamala Harris.