Stacey Abrams earns praise as Biden leads in Georgia

Public figures lauded voting rights activist candidate Stacey Abrams, as former Vice President Joe Biden gained a razor thin lead over President Trump 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 Clinton won the state.

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 Clinton 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 Jarrett quoted the same tweet as Hillary Clinton, stating that Abrams had forgotten to thank one person — herself.  

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) added in her own tweet that the work that Abrams has done in Georgia was “nothing short of remarkable.”

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 Obama. 

In 2018, Abrams came close to becoming the first Black female governor in the country, narrowly losing to now-Gov. Brian Kemp (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. 

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.

“So many deserve credit,” Abrams tweeted, highlighting many including late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (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.”

Tags 2020 general election Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Biden Bill Clinton Black voters Brian Kemp Donald Trump Donald Trump Fair Fight Action Fair Fight Action Georgia Georgia Hillary Clinton Joe Biden John Lewis Michelle Obama Stacey Abrams Stacey Abrams Valerie Jarrett voter participation

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