Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in 2018, will run for Georgia governor in 2022
- Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost a bid for governor in 2018, on Wednesday launched her 2022 campaign.
- The entry into the race sets up Abrams for a potential rematch against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.
- If elected next year, Abrams would become the first Black female governor in US history.
Stacey Abrams on Wednesday launched a 2022 campaign for Georgia governor, setting up a potential rematch between the former state lawmaker and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in one of the most politically-competitive states in the country.
The voting-rights activist and former minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives released an announcement on Twitter where she repeated themes similar to her 2018 campaign, stating that she was running "because opportunity in our state shouldn't be determined by zip code, background or access to power."
The campaign launch will likely assuage nervous Democrats in the Peach State as they seek to retake the governorship that they have not held since former Gov. Roy Barnes left office in 2003.
In 2018, Abrams became the first Black female nominee from a major political party to run for governor in US history. This feat represented a groundbreaking moment not only for Black women, but for Georgia, which for years had been defined by its conservative electorate.
Kemp, who during the campaign was the Secretary of State overseeing elections, ran close with Abrams in the polls throughout the entire race, and both sides aimed to boost their support from their strongest groups — Abrams focused on energizing minority and suburban voters, while Kemp relied heavily on his base in rural and exurban areas.
In the end, Kemp narrowly defeated Abrams by a 50.2%-48.8% margin, or 1.4 percentage points.
But Abrams showed remarkable strength in Atlanta's suburbs — sweeping longtime Republican jurisdictions including Cobb, Gwinnett, and Henry counties.
The race represented the smallest margin in a Georgia governor's race since 1966.
Democrats went on to achieve great success in the next political cycle — with President Joe Biden winning the state last fall and with the dual runoff election victories of Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in January 2021.
However, the GOP-controlled General Assembly's passage of a restrictive voting law attracted a wave of controversy earlier this year and has Democrats concerned that the legislation will hurt their base, especially in what may be a challenging midterm election for the party.
The law, known as the Election Integrity Act of 2021 or SB 202 , tightened election rules in the state by limiting drop boxes, strengthening voter identification requirements, and banning water and food from being distributed by volunteers to voters waiting in line, among other measures.
It was thoroughly berated by prominent Democrats including Biden and Abrams, and the fallout over the bill led to the the MLB moving the 2021 All-Star Game from Georgia to Colorado.
In June, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state, arguing that the statewide law is discriminatory against Black Georgians.
On Wednesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sued the Department of Justice over its response to his inquiry regarding documents that he feels could indicate a political rationale for the lawsuit against the state's voting law, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution .
Meanwhile, Kemp — who was a conservative hero in 2018 — has been repeatedly excoriated by former President Donald Trump for declining to help in overturning Biden's electoral victory in the state last year.
According to multiple reports, Trump has sought to prod former Sen. David Perdue into the gubernatorial race in what could become a messy and expensive primary on the GOP side.
This story has been updated.Read the original article on Business Insider