She did it: Stacy Abrams wins Democratic Primary for governor of Georgia
Carol Ozemhoya| OW Contributor | 5/24/2018, 10:32 a.m.
Our Weekly has been reporting for months that Stacy Abrams, a Black legislator in Georgia, could well become the first Black and the first female governor of the state. She is a Democrat and the state usually votes Republican. In Georgia’s primary this week, 44-year-old Abrams won the Democratic nomination and is the choice to run against a Republican candidate, yet to be chosen, as no Republican candidate reached a majority vote. There will be a runoff primary in July with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle or Brian Kemp, Secretary of State. Abrams received major support, both in her campaign funding and word of mouth from Democratic leaders such as California’s Kamala Harris and New Jersey’s Corey Booker. At least on political analyst thinks Abrams’ win “energizes the Democratic Party in Georgia.” That’s according to Kerwin Swift, a political expert from Kennesaw State University, which is north of Atlanta. A key premise of Abrams’ bid is that in Georgia the Democratic Party no longer needs to cater to moderate white “swing” voters in the state’s suburban and rural areas who have increasingly migrated to the GOP since the 1990s, says the Huffington Post. That strategy was promoted by Californian Steve Phillips, author of “Brown is the New White,” which argues that Democrats can win with the help of a “new American majority” ― progressive whites, Latinos, Asian Americans and Black voters, especially Black women. Phillips, whose wife Susan Sandler is heir to a mortgage banking fortune, boosted Abrams’ bid both with his checkbook and his platform. PowerPAC Georgia, which is associated with Phillips’ nonprofit Democracy in Color, spent $1.5 million on Abrams’ campaign. That money supplemented Abrams’ own considerable campaign fund of $3 million. According to the Post, Abrams also benefited from an all-out bombardment of support from major progressive groups, including Democracy for America, the Working Families Party, MoveOn, NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY’s List. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) campaigned for her on the stump, and both Hilary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Abrams. She also had the support of nearly every labor union in Georgia, three of its four Democratic U.S. House members and almost every civil rights leader in the state. Abrams has run on protecting voting rights, expanding Medicaid using Affordable Care Act funds, raising the minimum wage, eliminating cash bail and allocating more needs-based college aid, among other liberal priorities.