Stacey Abrams won't join presidential fray, will focus on voter suppression instead: reports
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams will not run for president, according to media reports, and will instead focus on combating voter suppression, an issue that took center stage during her unsuccessful run last year.
On Tuesday, Abrams announced her new initiative, called Fair Fight 2020, at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Convention in Las Vegas. The name is an offshoot of a group she started after her loss.
A close aide familiar with the decision told The New York Times that Abrams will focus on the new program rather than run for office. Messages from Fox News to Abrams were not immediately answered.
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The group will work in 20 battleground states and invest $5 million to monitor voter protections ahead of the 2020 general election. It will work to correct inaccurate voter rolls, shortages of voting machines and provisional ballots and more.
"We’re going to win. We’re going to win because there are only two things stopping us in 2020: Making sure people have a reason to vote, and that they have the right to vote,” Abrams said.
As a Democrat, Abrams gained nationwide attention during her failed run against Republican Brian Kemp, losing by just two percentage points. Kemp, who was Georgia's secretary of state, was accused by Abrams and civil rights groups of closing polling locations in mostly African-American communities and putting around 50,000 voter applications on hold.
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Abrams, a former leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, has repeatedly blamed voter suppression for her defeat.
She emerged from that experience as something of a political rockstar, with Democratic presidential contenders coveting her endorsement. She has been floated as a possible running mate to the eventual Democratic nominee.
She had entertained the possibility of a White House run in recent months while making appearances on television and at events where she faced questions over her political future.
At one point she shot down rumors that she’s considering joining former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 bid as his running mate.
“I do not believe you run for second place and I do not intend to enter a presidential race as a primary candidate for vice president,” she said.
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On Tuesday, Abrams didn't indicate whether she would seek public office again, The Hill reported.
"My mission is to make certain that no one has to go through in 2020 what I had to go through in 2018,” she said.