Stacey Abrams all but confirmed she won’t mount a bid for president in 2020 on Tuesday, announcing she will train her efforts over the next year and a half on a group to expand voter access and boost involvement with the 2020 census.
While Abrams made no explicit announcement that she would not run for president, her self-imposed deadline of Labor Day to jump in to the race is rapidly approaching.
“There are only two things stopping us in 2020: That people have a reason to vote and that they have the right to vote,” she told a labor union in Las Vegas on Tuesday. “I’ve decided to leave it to a whole bunch of other people to make sure they have a reason to vote.”
Abrams earlier in the day teased a “BIG ANNOUNCEMENT,” playing off months of speculation about her next steps after narrowly losing Georgia’s gubernatorial race in November. Voter suppression was a major topic after her loss to then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, whom she derided on Tuesday as “the architect of voter suppression.”
That election catapulted Abrams, a former state lawmaker, onto the national stage — she was tapped to deliver Democrats’ official response to President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address, and Democrats unsuccessfully tried to woo her into Georgia’s Senate race against the Republican incumbent, Sen. David Perdue. Abrams has also teased a possible rematch against Kemp in 2022.
Abrams unveiled her latest undertaking stemming from her voting rights group Fair Fight, which she began after her defeat. The group will train staffers in 20 competitive and battleground states to protect against voter suppression ahead of next year’s elections, and it will also focus on boosting response rates for next year’s all-important census survey.
“My mission is to make sure that no one has to go through in 2020 what we had to go through in 2018,” she told the crowd on Tuesday, referring to accusations that Kemp sought to suppress votes from minorities. “My job is to be the voice of those who don’t think they are heard,” she added.
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