Abrams Seeks Rematch in Georgia

Democrat lost close race to Brian Kemp last time
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 1, 2021 7:05 PM CST
Abrams to Run for Governor Again
Stacey Abrams, shown last year, lost the Georgia governor's race by 1.4 percentage points in 2018.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat and leading voting rights activist, said Wednesday that she will launch another campaign to become the nation's first Black woman governor. Without serious competition in a Democratic primary, the announcement could set up a rematch between Abrams and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Their 2018 contest was one of the most narrowly decided races for governor that year and was dominated by allegations of voter suppression, which Kemp denied, the AP reports. Yet Abrams' strong showing convinced national Democrats that Georgia should no longer be written off as a GOP stronghold.

Her performance and subsequent organization persuaded Joe Biden to invest heavily in the state in 2020, and he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to capture it since 1992. The party later won a narrow Senate majority after victories in two special elections in the state. The 2022 governor's race will test whether those gains were a one-time phenomenon driven by discomfort with then-President Donald Trump or marked the beginning of a more consequential political shift in a rapidly growing and diversifying South. Although Kemp defeated her by 1.4 percentage points, Abrams won 778,000 more votes than the previous Democrat to run for governor.

In a video announcing her candidacy, Abrams said "opportunity and success in Georgia shouldn't be determined by background or access to power." Abrams said she would provide "leadership that knows how to do the job, leadership that doesn’t take credit without also taking responsibility, leadership that understands the true pain that folks are feeling and has real plans. That’s the job of governor, to fight for one Georgia, our Georgia." Kemp said in a statement that Abrams is on a "never-ending campaign for power" in an attempt to become president, linking her to what he called the "failed Biden agenda."

(More Stacey Abrams stories.)

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