As polls closed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night in the state of Georgia, and with only 34% of the votes counted, one thing was clear to everyone: Stacey Abrams, the former State House minority leader was going to make history.
With only 30% of the votes counted, the race wasn’t even close. Abrams, who is vying to become the country’s first black female governor, trumped Stacey Evans, who was also looking to make history as the first female gubernatorial nominee for any major party in Georgia. Abrams overwhelmingly won the Democratic nomination by a 53% margin by the end of the night.
Abrams’ triumph isn’t just a win for African Americans and young progressives, but also the Democratic Party, which has lost numerous elections over the years to Republican opponents. Come November, she will face the winner of a run-off election between Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
According to The Washington Post:
Stacey Abrams, vying to become the country’s first black female governor, has surrounded herself with leaders representing women, labor, the LGBT community and other causes on the left—predicting at a rally over the weekend that a rising coalition of minorities and liberal whites “is going to turn the state of Georgia, and the nation, blue again.”
In a victory speech, Abrams echoed the progressive ideologies that not only won her the go-ahead nomination for the gubernatorial seat but one that has now proven the theory that liberals need to curb white, moderate Republican voters.
“Our mission is to see beyond the challenges that face us, to create a Georgia where our dreams and aspirations become real and lasting legacies,” she said. “A state of excellent schools, with jobs that create wealth and opportunity, and good leaders who stand up for all of us.…that is why we are here. To ensure that all Georgians… from farmers in Montezuma… to mill workers in Dalton know we value them. That educators in Sparta and airport workers in College Park know we see their efforts. That former prisoners across our state working towards more know we believe in their redemption. We are here to ensure that everyone who calls Georgia home has the freedom and opportunity to thrive—to live their very best lives!”
According to The New York Times:
What may prove decisive this fall is whether Ms. Abrams—in addition to drawing out voters who typically do not vote in a midterm election—can also win over the sort of white women who have recoiled from Mr. Trump and powered Democratic turnout in a series of special elections and primaries.
To do so, she will have to make inroads that have eluded other Democrats. In Georgia, about seven in 10 white women voted for both Mr. Trump in 2016 and Gov. Nathan Deal, the term-limited incumbent, in 2014, exit polls found. In Georgia’s last election for governor, African-Americans made up about 30 percent of the electorate, and nine in 10 gave their votes to Jason Carter, the Democratic nominee and a grandson of the former president Jimmy Carter.
In another primary race in Georgia’s 6th district, Lucia Kay McBath, the mother of 17-year old Jordan Davis, who was shot to death in Florida over loud music, ran as the only woman on the ballot in an area that over 70% white. She will have to beat Karen Abel in a runoff election in July.