Stacey Abrams announces second bid for Georgia state governor

Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams speaks ahead of former President Barack Obama’s speech in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, one day before the election, November 2, 2020 . REUTERS / Brandon Bell / File Photo

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Dec. 1 (Reuters) – Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams said on Wednesday she was running for governor of Georgia again, setting up a potential rematch against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state that has become a key battleground in the US election.

“Opportunities and success in Georgia shouldn’t be determined by your zip code, your background or your access to power,” Abrams, a Democrat, said in a statement. video launch his campaign. “If our Georgia is to move on to its next and biggest chapter, we will need leadership. “

Abrams, 47, a former Georgia House of Representatives, lawyer, entrepreneur and love novelist, became a national Democratic figurehead after losing the fierce governor’s race to Kemp in 2018 by just 55,000 votes.

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Since that defeat, which many Democrats blamed on voter suppression, Abrams has built a national reputation as an advocate for voting rights by founding the organization Fair Fight. She has been credited by many Democrats with increasing the party’s turnout in 2020, when President Joe Biden became the first Democrat to win the state in a presidential election in nearly three decades.

Two months after Biden’s victory, Democrats swept two Senate races in Georgia to give them control of the US Senate. A clash between Abrams and Kemp next year would offer a test of whether these wins reflect a more permanent Democratic advantage in a Southern state that is diversifying and growing or whether they are motivated by an antipathy to former Republican President Donald. Trump.

Georgia has not had a Democratic governor since Roy Barnes stepped down in 2003. If it wins next November, Abrams, whom Biden at one point considered a potential running mate, would be the first black woman to be elected governor of Georgia. ‘an American state.

Kemp, who is running for re-election, reacted on Wednesday by claiming that Abrams shut down the state because of COVID-19 and allowed “woken politics” to be part of school lessons.

“I am fighting against Stacey Abrams, Biden’s failed agenda and their allies awakened to keep Georgia the best place to live, work and raise a family,” Kemp said on Twitter.

Kemp could face an uphill primary battle within his own party after resisting Trump’s demands to convince the Georgia state legislature to overturn the 2020 presidential results showing Biden beat Trump.

Kemp has since signed a law on radical Republican-sponsored voting restrictions, with potentially significant implications for how elections are administered in Georgia in 2022 and the US presidential election in 2024.

Supporters say legislation is needed to protect elections and restore voter confidence in the process. Opponents say he was born out of the “Big Lie” of the Republican Party, the false claim that Biden’s loss to Trump in November 2020 was the result of widespread fraud.

In an interview published earlier Wednesday at the Reuters Next conference, Abrams said she remained optimistic that Congress would pass federal legislation to advance and protect voting rights, despite opposition from Republicans. Read more

Georgia is expected to vote in the general congressional and governors elections next November. Raphael Warnock, a Baptist preacher from the former church of Martin Luther King Jr. who was elected to the Senate in January in a special election, is also eligible for a six-year term.

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Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer and Joseph Ax; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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