Georgia’s Stacey Abrams is now the first black woman to win a Democratic primary and become a major party nominee for governor in the U.S. If Abrams wins the gubernatorial race, she will be the first black governor in the South since Reconstruction.
It was announced on Tuesday that Abrams, a liberal candidate, won the primary for the state of Georgia, which is an overwhelmingly conservative state, as the New York Times reports. This historic Democratic nomination will put the state’s conservative views to the test and gauge how much Georgia’s politics are shifting. NBC notes the importance of this nomination concerning the Democrats’ overall strategies following the 2016 election.
The big question as Democrats move forward: “Should the party prioritize winning back white swing voters or focus on mobilizing its burgeoning coalition of minorities and young people?” This primary served as a microcosm to see what the public wants and whose voices are speaking the loudest as Democrats figure out how to win back the presidency. As The Times notes, Abrams has been vocal about who she is speaking to: She is not interested in trying to force rural whites back into the Democratic party, but rather she is focused on “energizing a coalition of young and nonwhite Georgians who represent a growing share of the state’s population.”
Abrams defeated her opponent, Stacey Evans, in a landslide win with 76.5 percent of the votes. Following the announcement of Abrams’ win, Evans was quick to support the new Democratic candidate, stating that Georgia must “find a unified voice to rally against Trump.” At Abram’s victory party, NBC quotes her as saying, “We are writing the next chapter of Georgia history, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard and no one is uninspired. Now let’s go get it done.”
Yet, Abrams still has a long fight ahead of her as she takes on the GOP candidate, and hence the real opponent: the old South. The GOP candidate has yet to be announced, per the Washington Post,, due to six candidates running and neither of the top two gaining the majority. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp came out on top with Cagle in the lead by 12 percentage points, but not enough for a win. The two candidates will face off on July 24 in a runoff. Both candidates stand for everything in the deep South that Abrams wants to put a stop to. Their racist campaign ads focus on immigration and feature people like Kemp saying he’s ready to “round up criminal illegals and take them home myself.” Despite their efforts to continue the southern racist tradition, Abrams now has a head start over the GOP candidate. As the two Republicans battle it out to see who will get the nomination, Abrams can get to work and start amassing support.
Abrams was one of multiple women to win nominations last night. As a result, CNBC points out that “early primary elections suggest the number of women in Congress could rise after November.” As the nation celebrates Abrams’ historic election, all we can do is wait. In July, she will find out which racist GOP candidate she is up against, and in November, it will be announced whether the nation has its first female black governor.