Former Georgia House Democratic Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams announced on Wednesday that she will run for governor again in 2022, putting an end to months of speculation surrounding her 2022 plans.
The Democrat kicked off her campaign with a video highlighting her work in voting rights advocacy, an issue she has become very passionate about since her narrow loss to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Many Democrats accused Kemp, who was the Secretary of State at the time, of using his office to purge voter rolls in the months leading up to the election.
Following her defeat, Abrams launched a voting rights organization called FairFight, which has raised more than $100 million in the three years since it was created.
Republicans were quick to respond to Abrams’ announcement. Kemp’s re-election campaign issued a statement blasting the Governor’s arch nemesis:
“With Stacey Abrams in control, Georgia would have shut down, students would have bee barred from their classrooms, and woke politics would be the law of the land.’
The statement went on to deride Abrams’ “far-left” agenda. Other Republicans mocked her for the way she reacted to her 2018 loss, when she famously refused to concede and filed a sweeping lawsuit challenging Georgia’s elections.
Across the aisle, Democratic leaders across the state were quick to welcome her candidacy. U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, a protégé of Abrams, called her “a champion for Georgia.” U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) called her “an inspiration to the entire country.”
Abrams is looking to ride a recent wave of success for Georgia Democrats, who delivered the White House for President Joe Biden last year and handed Democrats control of the U.S. Senate in two blockbuster runoff elections earlier this year.
A household name in Democratic politics, raising money will probably be the least of her concerns. She shattered fundraising records during the 2018 campaign as she aimed to become the nation’s first Black female governor.
Brandon Finnigan @B_M_Finnigan@kkondik This is stratospheric for Republicans this early, and the Senate seats subsample is downright otherworldly.
But the dynamics of the 2022 will be much different. For one thing, the political environment likely won’t be as favorable to Democrats as it was in 2018. President Biden’s approval ratings are underwater in several key swing states, and Republicans are riding high after a pair of strong showings in two governor races last month.
Gov. Kemp also has some things going against him. Before he can face Abrams, he will have to make his way out of a Republican primary. Former President Donald Trump has made no secret of his frustration with Kemp after he refused to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and suggested in a statement Wednesday that “some good Republican” will soon enter the primary.
Abrams’ announcement video can be viewed below.