Controversial and outspoken liberal Democrat Stacey Abrams says she will launch a second bid for governor in Georgia, setting up a potential rematch with GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.
“I’m running for Governor because opportunity in our state shouldn’t be determined by zip code, background, or access to power,” Abrams tweeted as she announced her candidacy.
Abrams, the former Georgia House Democratic leader who in 2018 made history as the first Black woman gubernatorial nominee of a major political party, narrowly lost to Kemp by less than 55,000 votes out of nearly 4 million cast in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election.
The voting rights advocate announced her candidacy with a campaign video that highlighted her work in Georgia since her defeat to Kemp four years ago. And she emphasized that the job of the governor “is to fight for one Georgia, our Georgia, and now it’s time to get the job done.”
The announcement, which really came as no surprise, sets up a potential rematch with Kemp in the onetime solidly red state that’s morphed into a key electoral battleground. President Biden defeated former President Donald Trump in Georgia in last year’s election by a razor-thin margin, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state in nearly three decades. And the Democrats swept Georgia’s Jan. 5 twin Senate runoffs, giving them the majority in the chamber.
But despite her party’s recent successes in Georgia, which were aided by Abrams, she’ll be running in a difficult political environment for her party, as the Democrats hope to defend their narrow House and Senate majorities. Abrams will be on the top of the Georgia ballot alongside Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who narrowly won one of the two Senate runoff contests nearly a year ago and faces reelection next year. Republicans are targeting Warnock, whom they view as one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senates on the ballot in 2022.
Abram’s political stature has grown since her 2018 defeat. She gave the Democratic response to Trump’s State of the Union address in 2019, and during the 2020 election, was considered as Biden’s running mate.
While Abrams isn’t expected to face any serious competition for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Kemp continues to face the wrath of the former president.
Trump has vowed to return to Georgia to campaign against Kemp, to punish his onetime ally for refusing to help the then president’s efforts last year to overturn the election results in Georgia.
Trump refused to concede to Biden, and to this day, he and millions of his voters still believe there was massive voter fraud in Georgia and five other states where Biden narrowly won.