Abrams clinches governor’s nod in Georgia primary
Stacey Abrams is once again the Democratic nominee for Georgia governor.
The Associated Press called the race for Abrams as soon as polls closed in the Peach State at 7 p.m. ET.
There was never any doubt that the former state Senate minority leader and voting rights advocate would advance to the November general election. She faced no opposition in the primary, and Rep. Nikema Williams, the chairwoman of the Georgia Democratic Party, recognized Abrams as the nominee months ago.
Still, with Tuesday’s primary out of the way, Abrams will now have access to the benefits of a Georgia gubernatorial nominee, particularly when it comes to fundraising.
A law signed last year by Gov. Brian Kemp (R) allows certain Georgia political leaders, including nominees for governor, to form so-called leadership committees that can raise and spend unlimited sums of money. With the nomination locked up, Abrams will be able to form such a committee of her own.
Abrams is widely expected to face Kemp for a second time after narrowly losing to him during her last bid for governor in 2018.
Kemp is facing a primary of his own against former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), who has the endorsement of former President Trump. But recent polling in the race shows the incumbent governor with a staggering double-digit lead, and he is widely expected to win renomination on Tuesday.
While Abrams has run against Kemp before, she will make her second bid for Georgia governor in a very different political environment than she did in 2018, a year that saw Democrats recapture control of the House in a wave election that symbolized mounting opposition to Trump and full GOP control of Washington.
With Democrats now in full control of Congress as well as the White House, the party is heading into the 2022 midterm elections facing strong historical and political headwinds.
For one, the party in power almost always loses ground in midterm elections. What’s more, Democrats are also scrambling to counter Republican attacks over everything from rising inflation and gas prices to increases in crime.
Still, Abrams has proved to be a deft candidate and strong fundraiser who has been embraced by Democrats, not only in Georgia but nationally.
Early polling, however, suggests that she’ll have some ground to make up. A survey released last month by The Hill and Emerson College showed Kemp leading Abrams by a 7-point margin, while Perdue held a 5-point lead over her in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up.