Former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has announced she’s not running for Senate in 2020.
In an interview with WABE she said she’s decided she’s not the right person to challenge Republican Sen. David Perdue next year.
“It’s not about winning an election, it’s about being the right person for the work,” she said. “And so I’m going to do my best to make certain that the right person is elected.
“Ultimately my responsibility was to figure out if this is the job I want to do. There’s the excitement of the moment, the excitement of the campaign, but fundamentally standing for office is about willing to do the work.”
Abrams admitted she began the process “not terribly interested in the Senate. I appreciate the role the legislature plays but my best moments I believe have usually been when I’ve been building systems and really creating policies that can directly affect and change the concerns that I have.”
As for whether she will make a bid for the White House?
“And I will keep giving thought to other opportunities, but for me the immediate question was whether the Senate was the right next step and it is not,” she said.
Abrams said she does see herself in an executive branch role, whether that means the White House or the Georgia governor’s mansion. She cited her experience leading organizations, companies and the minority caucus of the Georgia House of Representatives.
“I do believe that I’m more effective in those roles, and I think the challenges and the issues that I see before us, my contribution is best served not by running for the Senate,” she said.
She lost the governor’s race last fall by about 55,000 votes, the closest margin in recent state history and started an organization called Fair Fight Action that is challenging the state’s voting system in federal court.
Abrams has become a national political figure since the governor’s race, meeting with many presidential hopefuls and national Democratic politicians. She said she’s confident they are considering Georgia a battleground state in 2020.
“I think you need only look at how many of the early candidates have held events in Georgia, are planning to come to Georgia,” she said. “But I also think just a review of the electoral college signals how important Georgia is.”
While she declined to provide a timeline about a White House decision, she said will continue working in Georgia, while pushing her voting rights platform nationally.
Her news opens the path wide for other Democratic challengers against Sen. Perdue. Teresa Tomlinson, former mayor of Columbus, already announced an exploratory committee, conditional upon Abrams not running.