With Stacey Abrams announcing another run at the governor’s mansion, Georgia finds itself in the national political spotlight again.
Once again, the political spotlight has found its way to the state of Georgia.
Stacey Abrams, who played a major role in the election of President Joe Biden in Georgia, has again thrown her hat in the ring to become governor of Georgia.
The Associated Press reported, “Without serious competition in a Democratic primary, the announcement sets up a likely rematch between Abrams and incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Their 2018 contest was one of the most narrowly decided races for governor that year and was dominated by allegations of voter suppression, which Kemp denied.”
Abrams’ strong showing in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race made it clear to many Democrats that the “Peach State” now was up for grabs and no longer a solidly Republican state.
The close gubernatorial race in 2018 convinced the Biden campaign team to invest heavily in Georgia in 2020.
Furthermore, after Abrams’ claims of voter suppression did not result in a 2018 victory, the gubernatorial candidate hit the campaign trail throughout George stumping for President Biden.
Many credit Abrams with the large Black voter turnout, especially amongst Black women, which was crucial in Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia.
Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since former President Bill Clinton in 1992.
After Biden’s victory, former President Donald Trump tried to get Kemp to find enough votes for him to defeat the 46th President of the United States.
Kemp refused to overthrow the Georgia vote for Trump and has since received the ire of the former commander-in-chief.
Democrats did not just win the state of Georgia during the 2020 presidential election.
Two Democrats won their senatorial races in 2020 too, Sen. Jon Ossoff and Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Those two senatorial victories gave Democrats the slightest possible advantage in the United States Senate with a 50-50 split with Republicans.
Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the tie breaker in the Senate, effectively giving Democrats a 51-50 advantage over the GOP.
The Associated Press reported, “The 2022 governor’s race will test whether those gains were a one-time phenomenon driven by discomfort with then-President Donald Trump or marked the beginning of a more consequential political shift in a rapidly growing and diversifying South.
“In a state where Democrats often sought—and failed—to win power by relying on Black voters and appealing to older White moderates, Abrams ran in 2018 as an unapologetic progressive. The 47-year-old Abrams embraced expanding Medicaid access, something a series of Republican governors have refused to do and supporting abortion rights.
“Georgia remains narrowly divided, and voters often reject the president’s party during the first election of their presidency. But in abandoning nods to centrism, Abrams insists Democrats can attract new voters, including recent transplants to the booming Atlanta area, Black voters who hadn’t participated in previous elections and younger, more liberal White voters.”
The political divisions within the state of Georgia led many Republican lawmakers to alter the way Georgians vote in future elections.
Many Democrats believe that the new laws amount to voter suppression, alleging that the new rules will make it harder for minorities to vote.
However, many Republicans call the new laws voter integrity measures meant to stop voter fraud.
Although Trump claimed Biden stole the 2020 presidential election from him through massive voter fraud, no evidence of widescale voter fraud big enough to change the election results has ever been presented to the courts who routinely rejected Trump’s fake claims of voter fraud.
Additionally, residents of Atlanta elected Atlanta city councilmember Andre Dickens as the city’s next mayor, taking over for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
In May, Lance Bottoms announced she would not seek reelection.
Dickens defeated City Council President Felicia Moore in a runoff election.
The city councilmember received 64 percent of the run-off vote despite finishing in a distant second place during the general election.
He will become the city’s 61st mayor.
The mayor-elect has served on Atlanta’s City Council since 2013.
His background is in business and nonprofits.
CNN reported, “In a race that focused on a recent spike in violent crime as well as controversy over an effort by the residents of the wealthy community of Buckhead to break off from the capital and create their own city, Dickens—who previously served as the chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee—laid out a public safety plan that prioritized community policing and boosting police resources.
“Dickens’ proposal calls for increasing the police force by 250 officers during the first year in office while requiring new training for every police department employee on de-escalation techniques and racial sensitivity.”
Before the general election on Nov. 2, shootings had increased in Atlanta from 406 to that point in 2020 to 629 in 2021 according to an Atlanta Police Department report.
J.D. Capelouto of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, “Dickens built a racially and geographically diverse coalition by picking up the bulk of former Mayor Kasim Reed’s voters in southwest Atlanta, and taking the Eastside by flipping White liberal voters who supported Moore in the general election. It was a stunning feat for a candidate who, just a few months ago, was polling in the single digits and whose name recognition was under 30%, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution polls.”
Eric Goldberg, 52, said, “I think Andre may have more vision…That was sort of the calculation [in the runoff]. Andre’s super dynamic and super personable.”