Stacey Abrams on Wednesday announced she will run for Georgia governor next year, marking a possible rematch against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) after he narrowly defeated her in the battleground state in 2018.
In a video announcing her campaign, Abrams highlighted her work in the state since 2018. Abrams said that she is running “because opportunity in our state shouldn’t be determined by zip code, background or access to power.”
“That’s the job of governor — to fight for one Georgia, our Georgia,” Abrams said in her announcement video. “And now, it is time to get the job done.”
Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives who has become a prominent voting rights advocate, ran for governor in 2018, and lost to Kemp by 1.4 points. Abrams became a boilerplate boogeyman for Republicans’ voter fraud myths after she gained national prominence for refusing to concede the 2018 governor’s race due to what she characterized as an “erosion” of voting rights. Abrams’ voting rights organizing efforts have also been largely credited for Democrats’ Senate wins in Georgia during the runoff election earlier this year, giving the party control of the Senate.
If Abrams wins next year’s race for Georgia governor, she would become the first Black governor in the state as well as the first Black woman governor in U.S. history.
Abrams’ announcement comes as Kemp struggles to deflect President Trump’s ire after the Georgia governor refused to play along with Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election. Trump has made clear that he wants Kemp to face retribution for supposed insufficient loyalty to him.
In an odd turn of events, Trump hyped Abrams during a rally in September as part of his revenge tour against Kemp.
“Having (Abrams), I think, might be better than having your existing governor, if you want to know what I think,” Trump said during a rally in Perry, Georgia in September, before snarking, “Stacey, would you like to take his place? It’s OK with me.”
Republicans in Georgia are reportedly expecting Trump ally and former Sen. David Perdue (R), who lost re-election to Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA), to run against Kemp in next year’s primary.
Abrams’ run for governor also comes as Democrats hope to hang onto their razor-thin majority in the Senate while Republicans aim to retake the majority.