Stacey Abrams launches campaign for governor in 2022

Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat, former state House Minority Leader and voting rights activist, said Wednesday that she will launch another campaign to become the nation’s first Black woman governor.

“Opportunity and success in Georgia shouldn’t be determined by your zip code, background or access to power,” Abrams said in a press release. “For the past four years, when the hardest times hit us all, I’ve worked to do my part to help families make it through. My job has been to just put my head down and keep working — toward One Georgia.”

Without serious competition in a Democratic primary, the announcement sets up a potential 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 President 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 then-President Donald Trump or marked the beginning of a more consequential political shift in a rapidly growing and diversifying South.

Abrams vowed to preserve voting rights and reproductive rights, expand Medicaid and adequately fund the state’s education system.

“If our Georgia is going to move to its next and greatest chapter, we are going to need leadership,” she said. “Leadership that knows how to do the job. Leadership that doesn’t take credit without also taking responsibility. Leadership that works hard. Leadership that measures progress not by stats but by our ability for everyone to move up and thrive. Leadership that understands the true pain folks are feeling and has real plans.

“That’s the job of governor,” she added.

Kemp issued a response to the news within minutes of Abrams’ announcement.

“With Stacey Abrams in control, Georgia would have shut down, students would have been barred from their classrooms, and woke politics would be the law of the land and the lesson plan in our schools,” he said in a press release. “Her far-left agenda of open borders, gun confiscation, high taxes, and anti-law enforcement policies don’t reflect who we are as Georgians.”

“I’m in the fight against Stacey Abrams, the failed Biden agenda and their woke allies to keep Georgia the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” he added.

Abrams also tweeted out a campaign announcement video.