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For Stacey Abrams, revenge is the best served dish in blue

Abrams, the 2018 Democratic nominee, has spent years expanding the electoral district and boosting voter turnout in the state, which has been a reliably red for decades. .

Abrams lost the Georgia gubernatorial race with 55,000 votes in an election ruined by allegations of persecuting voters. Instead of fading into the background, she climbed into the trench. She founded an organization to register and empower voters, wrote a book on voter repression and co-produced a documentary about Amazon Prime, “All In: the Fight for Democracy.”
Her relentless efforts paid off. There is no Democratic presidential candidate has won in Georgia since Bill Clinton̵
7;s time in 1992, though Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have come pretty close. But Biden received more than 2.4 million votes in Georgia, surpassing Hillary Clinton’s total of more than half a million and leading President Trump more than 7,000 as the vote count continues on Saturday.

“Stacey worked tirelessly to get Joe Biden and the Democratic National Conference on Georgia, spending years organizing and strategizing,” said Nsé Ufot, Executive Director of Project New Georgia. make sure the Georgians get their voices heard at the polls. effort launched by Abrams in 2013 to grow voters. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without her leadership.”

Ms. Abrams herself told CNN on Election Day morning that “we have seen a substantial turnout of voters among communities that often do not get top priority for candidates. saw them get engaged, encouraged and we saw them stand out. “

Three days later, she seems satisfied with the profits.

“My heart is full,” Abrams said on Twitter Friday. In another tweet, she said, “We’re just getting started.”

Georgia’s demographics are changing

Georgia voted Republicans in eight out of nine recent presidential elections. But explosive growth and changing demographics are expanding the Democratic Party’s base and turning the state purple. Republicans may no longer trust Peach State.

Leaders like Abrams, who have pushed Democrats to pay more attention to the state, have helped accelerate change.

Last year, Abrams and her former campaign manager wrote a 16-page document filled with data and trends on Democratic voters in the state. They describe it as a blueprint for their victory in 2020.

Voters lined up on the final day of the early voting in Snellville, Georgia.

“With its diverse, growing population and rapidly changing electoral district, Georgia is not a future opportunity for Democrats; it’s essential right now,” it said. “Georgia is just as competitive as long-standing battlefield states. With one of the youngest and most prolific African-American constituencies of the competing states, Georgia has demographic advantages that Not in other states. “

Georgia also has a growing Latino population and explosive communities in and around the Democratic Atlanta stronghold.

The state’s demographic change plays an important role, Ufot said, but must also invest in recruiting, training and supporting candidates from minority communities.

The New Georgia Project says it has registered about 500,000 new voters. And it plans to keep knocking on the door.

“We have voters in our community, talk to voters and come up with policy initiatives that reflect the needs of the people of our state,” says Ufot. “When people feel heard, they feel encouraged.”

Abrams has diversified into state politics

Abrams, 46, graduated from Spelman College and Yale Law School and served in the Georgia House of Representatives for over a decade.

Seven years ago, she founded Project New Georgia, a voter registration team that led a grassroots effort to reach and register potential new voters in churches, college campuses and neighborhood.
After a narrow defeat to Brian Kemp in the 2018 race – she should have become the first African-American governor – Abrams launched the Fair Fight, which sponsors and trains voter protection teams in 20 battlefield states. It targets young and minority voters, and educates them about their election and voting rights.
“We owe Stacey Abrams our greatest gratitude and respect,” said Susan Rice, who served as a national security adviser in the Obama administration. “Rarely does a person deserve such credit for such great progress and change.”

Abrams’ strong 2018 campaign and grassroots efforts have made her a rising star in the Democratic Party. In 2019, she became the first Black woman to give an official Democratic response to a State of the Union speech.

Stacey Abrams launched a multi-million dollar effort in 2018 to counter voter oppression.

This year, she is among the top candidates considered potential co-stars for Biden. Trump’s campaign taunted her, saying she was participating in a “desperate audition” to become Biden’s vice president, but Abrams wasn’t shy about her ambitions.

“As a young black woman, growing up in Mississippi, I learned that if you don’t raise your hand, people won’t see you and they won’t notice you,” Abrams told CNN’s Jake Tapper in May. Private.

“But it’s not about attention being a companion, it’s making sure my level is not in doubt, because they’re not just talking to me, they’re talking to black women. young people, women of color, young people of color, who wonder if they can also be seen. “

Abrams campaigned this fall for Biden and said she gave Democratic leaders a similar greeting.

“I have two messages. One, the voter oppression is real and we have to plan against. Two, Georgia is real. You have to plan to fight here,” she told CNN week. this. “We are honored to know that by the time Joe Biden won the nomination, he had Georgia in mind.”

Her 2018 loss has taught voters important lessons

Many African-Americans in Georgia say they were motivated to vote directly by what happened when Republican Brian Kemp ran with Abrams for governor while holding head of the state election. .
Kemp has enforced some of the nation’s most restrictive voting laws as Georgia secretary of state and was charged in a campaign to try to suppress minority votes.
Abrams argued that he used his position to rock the election, while Kemp countered that she “created a ‘crisis’ to incite her supporters and raise funds from Leftist extremists. “
Republican candidate Brian Kemp speaks as Democratic rival Stacey Abrams looks at during a debate in Atlanta on October 23, 2018.

Abrams remains defiant when she ends her run for governor.

“Be clear – this is not a speech of concession, because concession means admitting an action is right, correct or appropriate,” she said. “As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot admit that. But … the title of governor is not nearly as important as our general title – the voters. And that’s why. why we fight. “

The controversial results have also inspired Abrams’ organizations to promote voter registration in underrepresented communities.

“After 2018, we all continued the fight to make sure it wasn’t going to happen to the people of Georgia again,” said Ufot. “Through our grassroots organization, we have been able to register more voters and attract more people to the ballots.”

Meanwhile, many Democrats across the country are recognizing Abrams’ contributions.

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler this week said her efforts were felt outside Georgia.

“There’s a lot of talk that is perfectly precise about how Stacey Abrams played a key role in winning Georgia,” he tweeted. “Everyone: Stacey and her team also played a key role in overthrowing Wisconsin. And every other battlefield.”

Thanks in part to Abrams, Georgia can now also be a long-standing battlefield.

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