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Democrats Pick a New Face for State of the Union Response

Stacey Abrams drew the party's attention in her close race for governor of Georgia
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2019 3:58 PM CST
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams addresses supporters on Election Night last fall in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Amis)

(Newser) – Stacey Abrams, the first black woman to win a major party nomination for governor, will deliver the Democrats’ response to President Trump’s State of the Union address next week. "She’s an incredible leader," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in making the announcement, per Politico. "She has led the charge for voting rights, which is at the root of just about everything else." Abrams lost a close election for governor in Georgia last fall in a race that included a dispute over blocked votes. She then announced the formation of a voting rights organization, Fair Fight Georgia, which sued Georgia officials over their management of the election, the Washington Post reports.

Her political future is the subject of speculation, partly fueled by her meeting earlier this month with Schumer, who is trying to line up Senate candidates. Georgia's Republican Sen. David Perdue is up for re-election in 2020. “I’m interested in everything,” Abrams told the Post this month about possible runs for office. In her race against Brian Kemp for governor, she received more votes than any Georgia Democrat ever in a statewide race. She’s been considered a rising star in the party since, and Schumer called Abrams three weeks ago to discuss the invitation, CNN reports. "I’m very excited that she’s agreed to be the respondent to the president," Schumer said, per Fox News. After much drama, Trump agreed to deliver the speech next Tuesday at the Capitol. (Read more State of the Union Address stories.)

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