When Stacey Abrams lost her bid to become governor of Georgia in 2018, she knew it wasn’t because voters didn’t want to cast their ballots for her. She knew it was because they couldn’t cast their ballots for her.
Abrams argues that her opponent, Brian Kemp, paved the way to his own victory while still secretary of state by aggressively purging voter rolls and cutting polling sites. In the months leading up to the election, Kemp — still in office as secretary of state while campaigning for governor — knocked hundreds of thousands of voters off the rolls in Georgia. The move to tighten restrictions on voting disproportionately impacted people of color and those who lean Democrat.
Abrams believes these efforts gave Kemp a razor-thin victory over her in the gubernatorial race in 2018.
But it is Abrams who may have the last laugh. In the wake of the 2018 elections, she doubled down on voter protection efforts by founding Fair Fight 2020, and in 2020 her team turned Georgia blue for President-Elect Joe Biden.
Her work isn’t done. The two Senate seats in play for Georgia both face run-off elections in January. If Abrams is successful, she’ll be instrumental in breaking the Republican’s hold on the Senate.
It takes moxie to take on voter suppression, and Abrams has it. Here’s how:
Moxie makes the case.
It would have been tempting for Democrats and the Biden-Harris campaign to overlook Georgia in favor of opportunities to win over voters in other states. After all, Georgia has been a deeply “red” state with Republicans in power at all levels.
But Abrams saw a shift. She saw thousands of new voters flocking to the state from other more progressive states. She saw suburban white women increasingly turning to Democratic candidates. She saw Black and Latinx voters and other voters of color becoming more empowered. All of these factors pointed in the direction of an opportunity to make Georgia more competitive.
Abrams wrote the strategy for winning deep South, deep red Georgia, and she convinced the Biden-Harris campaign to invest time and resources. The Biden-Harris campaign showed Georgia some love, and Georgia reflected that love right back come Election Day. Biden-Harris narrowly edged Trump in the polls, pulling ahead in a narrow, nail-biting finish that is so close will now result in a hand-counted recount. Timely AND Expensive to determining the ultimate victor of the GA. race for the 2020 POTUS election.
Moxie stands on the shoulders of giants.
Abrams didn’t come from out of anywhere. She is the latest in a long line of Black leaders, particularly women, who have fought for and won the right to vote.
Perhaps the example that most readily comes to mind is Fannie Lou Hamer. The Mississippi woman campaigned relentlessly to win voting rights for Black Americans, often at great risk to her own life.
The late John Lewis comes to mind, too. He also worked tirelessly to secure voting rights for Black Americans and must surely be smiling down at all the “good trouble” Abrams is causing in his home state today.
And Abrams’ own family can’t be overlooked as foundational to her moxie, either. Her parents were deeply invested in the Civil Rights Movement, and they taught Abrams and her siblings to help, however and wherever they could.
Moxie is a boundless well of creativity.
Abrams’ list of accomplishments is long. She’s a magna cum laude graduate of Spelman, earned her law degree at Yale, a serial entrepreneur, and a representative in Georgia’s House. She’s also the author of several serious scholarly works that have appeared in the pages of no less a publication than Foreign Affairs magazine.
But shhhhh……I bet you didn’t know she’s also a … romance novelist?!
Abrams has published eight romance novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery! She started writing when she was a law student at Yale. She’s been a little busy lately, so she hasn’t published a new novel since 2009.
What should I ask Stacey Abrams if I ever get the chance?
Stacey Abrams’ Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stacey_Abrams
2018 Georgia gubernatorial Election Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Georgia_gubernatorial_election