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Stacey Abrams earns praise as Biden leads in Georgia

Public figures lauded voting rights activist candidate Stacey Abrams, as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Myanmar military conducts violent night raids Confidence in coronavirus vaccines has grown with majority now saying they want it MORE gained a razor thin lead over President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE Friday morning in the Peach State, long thought to be a Republican stronghold.

As of 3 p.m. EST, Biden led Trump by just over 1,600 votes, a tally below a half a percentage point, and a recount is expected.

A Democratic presidential candidate hasn't carried Georgia since 1992, when former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonIt's time to fix an important religious freedom law Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China Edie Falco to play Hillary Clinton in Clinton impeachment series MORE won the state.

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Current and former lawmakers and officials took to Twitter on Friday to commend the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate for her work helping people in the Peach State register to vote and make their ballots count. 

“Either way this goes in Georgia, we owe @staceyabrams our greatest gratitude and respect. Rarely does one person deserve such disproportionate credit for major progress and change,” former U.N. ambassador and national security adviser Susan Rice tweeted.

Former secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: China implicated in Microsoft breach | White House adds Big Tech critic | QAnon unfazed after false prediction Jill Biden redefines role of first lady QAnon supporters unfazed after another false prediction MORE simply wrote, "And thank YOU, Stacey. Thank you," quote tweeting a post from Abrams thanking various organizations for their work helping them get out the vote. 

Former Obama administration adviser Valerie JarrettValerie June JarrettBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Richmond says new pandemic relief bill should be passed before Christmas Progressive group Justice Democrats criticizes Biden appointments MORE quoted the same tweet as Hillary Clinton, stating that Abrams had forgotten to thank one person — herself.  

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J vax rollout today; third woman accuses Cuomo MORE (D-N.Y.) added in her own tweet that the work that Abrams has done in Georgia was “nothing short of remarkable.”

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Fellow New York progressive Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman also tweeted thanking Abrams. 

"Black women save this democracy over and over. Thank you @staceyabrams," he said. 

Her work in the Peach State also gained recognition and thanks from Hollywood actors and basketball superstar LeBron James. 

Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis tweeted her gratitude Friday saying, "@StaceyAbrams!! This American citizen would love to thank you from the bottom of her heart!! #GodBlessGeorgia #ThisIsWhatVisionLooksLike #ProudToBeABlackWoman."  

Comedian Billy Eichner and late night talk show host James Corden, who is not American, also chimed in to the praise. 

James, who has his own voting initiative, More Than a Vote, attributed its voting initiative's success to powerful Black women including Abrams and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' Michelle Obama on conversations with her daughters: 'Me and Barack, we can't get a word in' Michelle Obama offers advice with release of young readers' edition of 'Becoming' memoir MORE

In 2018, Abrams came close to becoming the first Black female governor in the country, narrowly losing to now-Gov. Brian KempBrian KempTrump fires back at WSJ editorial urging GOP to move on Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee Democrats must prepare now for a contested 2024 election MORE (R). Democrats believe that Abrams would’ve beaten Kemp if more than 500,000 Georgians had not been purged from the state’s voter rolls. 

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The purge is believed to have disproportionately affected registered Black voters and was carried out by Kemp himself, who was the state’s secretary of State at the time.

After her loss, Abrams founded Fair Fight Action — a nonprofit organization focused on combating voter suppression and promoting voter participation mainly in Georgia but also around the country.

Fair Fight Action, along with other Georgia voting rights groups such as The New Georgia Project, has worked the past two years to re-register Georgians who had been purged, including an additional 300,000 voters that were struck from state voting rolls in late 2019.

The result of these efforts was increased voter turnout overall as well as a spike in Black voter participation. Roughly 4.9 million Georgians voted in the election, up from 4.1 million in 2016.

Around 1 million Black Georgians voted early in some way, a considerable increase from the 712,000 who did so in 2016.

Abrams on Friday deferred from taking credit for the increased voter engagement, instead giving shoutouts to other groups and activists that have worked alongside Fair Fight Action.

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“So many deserve credit,” Abrams tweeted, highlighting many including late civil rights icon Rep. John LewisJohn LewisAdvocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis Democrats worry Senate will be graveyard for Biden agenda MORE (D-Ga.), who fought vehemently for expanded voting rights protection while in Congress.

“Always John Lewis,” Abrams added. "Charge any omissions to my head. My heart is full.”