Stacey Abrams, a Georgia Democrat and renowned voting rights crusader, announced on Wednesday that she will launch a new campaign to become the country’s first Black female governor.
Without a significant Democratic primary challenger, the announcement might set up a rematch between Abrams and incumbent Republican Governor, Brian Kemp. Their 2018 campaign for governor was one of the most closely contested one that year and it was characterised by claims of voter suppression, which Kemp disputed.
Nonetheless, Abrams’ impressive performance convinced national Democrats that Georgia should no longer be dismissed as a Republican bastion. Her success and subsequent organising persuaded Joe Biden to make a significant investment in the state in 2020. He became the first Democratic presidential contender to win it since 1992. Following victories in two Georgia special elections, the party went on to win a slender Senate majority.
The 2022 governor’s race will determine if those wins were a one-time blip caused by the dissatisfaction with then-President Donald Trump among the citizens or the start of a more significant political shift in a quickly developing and diversifying South. The Democrats’ loss in the Virginia governor’s race raises doubts about the effectiveness Abram’s liberal strategies, as the country has a tilt against the Democrats in the current context.