She's a Yale-educated attorney and a romance novelist who served a decade in the Georgia Legislature. Now, Stacey Abrams, Georgia's first black woman nominee for governor, aims to be a decision-maker for the party, too.
Abrams, 44, easily won the Democratic nomination in Tuesday's primary, and strong turnout among Democrats has fueled hopes she can take back the governor's mansion in November in a state where Republicans hold every statewide office from USA senator to insurance commissioner.
Democrats were set to nominate a woman for governor either way, with Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans battling it out in a pitched primary fight.
"As long as Republican turnout doesn't drop off dramatically, the advantage is still in their court", said Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta.
Adding to the slate of firsts, Paulette Jordan won the Democratic nomination for governor in Idaho.
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As more states hold primaries, the influence of women on the Democratic Party and its election chances has grown. Democrats think they can do this by mobilizing some of the 1 million people of color who did not vote in the 2016 presidential election. She became a cause célèbre and Exhibit A for progressive candidates across the country who have felt squeezed by party leaders looking for general election candidates who can appeal to Republicans and independents. She is the first Black woman to win a major party nomination for governor in the U.S. If she wins in November, she will be the first Black female governor.
Abrams has also been highlighting her incarcerated brother, who suffers from mental illness, who is serving time because of "bad choices to support his drug habit".
Abrams had approximately 300,000 (76.5 percent) more votes than her competitor.
Her strong primary showing indicates that white Democrats already have her back.
In this May 20, 2018, photo, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams participates in a debate against Stacey Evans in Atlanta. All three of his opponents ran to Tucker's left by touting a more progressive platform, but Tucker handily outpaced them all and topped the 50 percent he needed to avoid a runoff.
In other primary races Tuesday, Ms. McGrath in Kentucky displayed another show of force by a Democratic woman in a contested primary.
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Abrams is an underdog with a compelling backstory.
"Stacey was a mentee of mine when she was a student at Spelman College and worked as my research assistant for Mayor Maynard Jackson's Office of Youth Services in the early 1990s", she said. "We are writing the next chapter of Georgia's future where no one is unseen, no one is unheard, and no one is uninspired". She resigned her seat last summer to focus on the gubernatorial campaign.
The news of Abrams' win was also personally exciting to Campbell. She has denied the allegations. She will need much more help to bring it down. It takes Abrams convincing local and national donors a Democrat can actually win at this level in Georgia and that they should cut checks to her.
"The strength of Abrams' victory in the primary rests on her ability to take her message directly to voters and communities who have traditionally been exercised out of the political process", said Brown-Dean "In plain language and with a stellar resume she has connected with voters for whom student loan debt feels like a behemoth they can't shake".
Cagle garnered national headlines in February when he threatened to kill a tax break benefiting Delta Air Lines, one of Georgia's largest employers, for ending a discount program for members of the National Rifle Association. The NRA endorsed Cagle soon after.
That is what I like least about my home.
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