Stacey Abrams, Georgia's 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, announced Wednesday that she is pursuing a bid for governor in 2022.
The move means Abrams could face a rematch against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Republican, to whom she narrowly lost the governor's mansion three years ago.
In a video shared on social media, Abrams said she's running "because opportunity and success in Georgia shouldn't be determined by your ZIP code, background or access to power."
I’m running for Governor because opportunity in our state shouldn’t be determined by zip code, background or access to power. #gapolBe a founding donor to my campaign:https://t.co/gk2lmBINfW pic.twitter.com/z14wUlo8ls— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) December 1, 2021
The Democrat was widely credited with boosting voter turnout in Georgia in 2020, helping President Biden win the state and aiding two Democrats - Raphael G. Warnock and Jon Ossoff - in capturing Senate seats this past January.
"If our Georgia is going to move to its next and greatest chapter, we're going to need leadership," Abrams said in her announcement video. "Leadership that knows how to do the job. Leadership that doesn't take credit without taking responsibility. Leadership that understands the true pain folks are feeling and has real plans. That's the job of governor, to fight for one Georgia - our Georgia. And now, it's time to get the job done."
In 2018, Abrams became the first Black woman to win a major-party gubernatorial nomination. If she wins next year, she would become the country's first Black woman governor. In New York, another Black woman, state Attorney General Letitia James, Democrat, is also pursuing a gubernatorial bid.
Abrams's campaign said that Georgia Democrats "are riding a wave of momentum into the gubernatorial race" and said that under Kemp's leadership, the state "has endured ongoing attacks on the right to vote and freedom to choose."
The Republican Governors Association fired back, with spokesperson Maddie Anderson arguing that Abrams was "once again using Georgia to boost her own star while she plots a path toward her real career goal: President of the United States."
Abrams has previously said that the presidency is a position that she wants "to one day hold."
"Over the past four years, Governor Kemp has exhibited courageous leadership for Georgians and guided his state through a turbulent time," Anderson said in a statement. "Stacey Abrams spent her time touring the country in search of fame and fortune. The RGA looks forward to ensuring Abrams is once again soundly defeated."
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.— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) December 1, 2021
When the 2018 gubernatorial contest ended with Abrams trailing Kemp by 55,000 votes, she refused to concede - a decision that Republicans have criticized. Instead, Abrams filed a lawsuit against the state for "gross negligence" in managing the election and formed a political group called Fair Fight Action, focused on battling restrictive laws and educating people on how to protect their right to vote.
In remarks to liberal activists last November, Abrams said that since 2018, 800,000 new voters had been added to Georgia's voting rolls, 49% of whom were younger than 30 and 45% of whom were people of color, both groups more likely to vote Democratic.