Although former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams emphatically stated that she would not run for president in 2020, she told a crowd gathered at The University of Iowa yesterday that she was open to joining the race as the eventual Democratic nominee’s running mate.
As reported by The Iowa Press-Citizen, Abrams told the audience of 700: “You do not run in a primary for second place. However, I’m not in the primary. You can run as second in a general election, and I’m happy to do so with the nominee.”
Earlier this year, Abrams has dismissed rumors about being approached for the VP slot as part of the Biden presidential campaign.
A day before voters throughout the nation go to the polls in today’s “off-year” elections, the Georgia Democrat was in the Hawkeye State to focus on the issue of voting rights. Her visit to the state also had special significance due to the fact that the Feb. 3 Iowa Caucus is vital to the political fortunes of the slate of Democratic candidates in the first contest of primary season.
Speaking at the event that was hosted by the University of Iowa and the Iowa League of Women Voters – “Hard Won. Not Done” – she stressed the need to address voter suppression as well as for attendees to play an active role in the voter registration process by finding “10 people you know aren’t registered.”
Identified by BLACK ENTERPRISE as being among the “New Power in Politics,” the former Georgia House Democratic leader electrified not only multitudes of voters of the Peach State but supporters nationwide. In her historic bid in 2018 to become governor of Georgia, she projected a progressive message of inclusive economic and educational opportunity that inspired women, African Americans, labor and the LGBT community—core components of a coalition that would prove invaluable to the Democratic ticket next year.
Her barrier-shattering run in “The New, New South,” however, was scuttled, she says, by voter suppression and race-baiting. In fact, as Georgia’s tightest gubernatorial race in more than a half-century came to a close, Abrams confirmed that then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp had enough votes to be certified to occupy the statehouse but refused to concede the race.
Although urged to run for president by supporters as well as courted by the Democratic Party to make a U.S. Senate bid, she chose instead to combat the tactics employed to keep her from the governorship by launching Fair Fight 2020. According to its website, the organization is “designed to help staff, fund, and train robust Democratic voter protection operations in battleground states across our country.” Moreover, it plans to “require an army of volunteers to build an infrastructure of accountability across all levels of government until every eligible voter can register, access the ballot, and cast a vote that is accurately counted.”
Abrams also founded another nonprofit organization in March to ensure political parity: Fair Count, which seeks to ensure an accurate count of Georgia’s population in the 2020 Census. Abrams maintains that it is critical for everything from the allocation of federal resources to future congressional representation.
She emphasized that the two areas are intertwined and must be addressed. Abrams told the crowd that if traditionally marginalized voters —disproportionately African Americans and other minorities—have their franchise undermined then they lose their political clout and if they’re not counted then communities of color will not gain adequate government funding.