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. The news was immediately greeted with skepticism and derision by former President Donald Trump.
Without serious competition in a Democrat primary, the announcement sets up a likely rematch between Abrams and incumbent 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.
Yet Abrams’ strong showing convinced national Democrats that Georgia should no longer be written off as a GOP stronghold. Her performance and subsequent organization convinced 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 Trump or marked the beginning of a more consequential political shift in a rapidly growing and diversifying South.
As for Trump, he issued a sharply worded statement after Abrams’ news emerged, bashing her but also questioning Kemp’s viability as a GOP standard-bearer.
It said: Stacey “The Hoax” Abrams has just announced that she’s running for Governor of Georgia. I beat her single-handedly, without much of a candidate, in 2018. I’ll beat her again, but it will be hard to do with Brian Kemp, because the MAGA base will just not vote for him after what he did with respect to Election Integrity and two horribly run elections, for President and then two Senate seats. But some good Republican will run, and some good Republican will get my endorsement, and some good Republican will WIN!