StaceyAbrams

Stacey Abrams is challenging Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in next year’s race. He’s already facing challengers within his own party.

Democrat Stacey Abrams is running for Georgia governor again, and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp framed the possibility of their rematch as a battle for the soul of the state.

Abrams announced her second gubernatorial candidacy last week; she lost to Kemp by 1.4% of the 4 million votes cast in 2018.

“I’m running for Governor because opportunity in our state shouldn’t be determined by zip code, background or access to power,” she tweeted.

With her loss to Kemp in 2018, Abrams was credited with helping to increase Democratic voting in Georgia. Since that election, her Fair Fight Action organization has been seen as the driving force behind flipping Georgia blue in the 2020 presidential election and helping to elect Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in subsequent runoff elections.

“Voter suppression, particularly of voters of color and young voters, is a scourge our country faces in states across the nation,” Abrams noted on her website.

Kemp tweeted he will fight against Abrams, “the failed Biden agenda, and their woke allies to keep Georgia the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”

The primary election is scheduled for May 24, 2022. Kemp faces a Republican primary challenger, Vernon Jones, and there are rumors that former U.S. Sen. David Perdue could join the race for governor.

Another obstacle Kemp may have to contend with is former President Donald Trump, who has vowed to return to Georgia to campaign against Kemp as punishment for refusing to help Trump overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. Fox News reported the ballots in Georgia were counted three times: the original Election Day count, a mandatory hand recount and a recount requested by the president’s campaign.

The governor charged that Abrams has hurt the state’s business climate and pained her as out of touch with Georgia voters.

“Her far-left agenda of open borders, gun confiscation, high taxes, and anti-law enforcement policies don’t reflect who we are as Georgians,” Kemp tweeted. “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.”

High-profile Democrats, including former Secretary of State and one-time presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, took to social media to support Abrams in her run.

“I’m with @StaceyAbrams. Are you?” Clinton posted via Twitter.

And Warnock tweeted: “StaceyAbrams is a champion for Georgia. As Governor, she’ll continue to fight for the priorities that are important to all of us here in our state.”

Abrams became a star of the Democratic party after she sued the state in federal court claiming efforts by Kemp, who was Secretary of State during the 2018 governor’s race, to purge voter rolls, close polling places, cancel ballots and create other voting obstacles amounted to unfair election practices.

The lawsuit will go to trial in February, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Along the way, the attorney-turned-novelist helped found the nonprofit voter advocacy group Fair Fight Action, was invited to give the Democratic response to Trump’s 2019 State of the Union, and was invited to address the Democratic National Committee in August 2020.

Critics responded to Abrams’ announcement quickly. Republican Governors Association spokesperson Maddie Anderson said Abrams was checking a box on the way to the White House.

“Stacey Abrams is once again using Georgia to boost her own star while she plots a path toward her real career goal: President of the United States,” Anderson said in a statement on the RGA website.

The state’s Republican Party also quickly chimed in on Abrams’ announcement, promising a repeat of the 2018 race.

“The RNC is excited to have another opportunity to deliver a crushing blow to Stacey’s political aspirations by, yet again, denying her the keys to the Governor’s mansion come November 2022,” Georgia RNC spokesperson Garrison Douglas said in an email to Patch.

Abrams broke the glass ceiling as the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States and the first Black woman and first Georgian to deliver a Response to the State of the Union.

Speaking of her new gubernatorial campaign, Abrams said the job of the governor is “to fight for one Georgia, our Georgia. And now, it is time to get the job done.”