Democrat Stacey Abrams isn’t quite in Georgia’s race for governor yet, but when she takes the plunge she’ll have some influential backup.
Democracy for America, a progressive PAC, is set to send an email to its members encouraging them to “pledge their support” to the Georgia Democrat when she announces she’s formally in the governor’s race.
The organization has more than 32,000 members in Georgia and about a million across the nation, and it’s the first significant group to pledge an endorsement in the still-evolving race for governor.
Abrams filed paperwork to run for governor earlier this month and is expected to soon officially launch her campaign. As leader of Georgia’s House Democrats, she’s aiming to become the first black female governor in the nation.
The group’s endorsement comes long before the field is settled. Abrams appears likely to face competition from state Rep. Stacey Evans, a fellow Democrat who is also seeking support from the party’s progressive wing.
In a statement, DFA executive director Charles Chamberlain said Abrams is “undoubtedly the best candidate” to lead the state. He cited her opposition in the Legislature to new restrictions on abortions and a tax overhaul that critics saw as unfair to poor Georgians.
“Winning the governorship will require a progressive leader like Stacey who can turn out voters who are ready for a strong contrast to the Republican agenda,” said Chamberlain. “If Stacey Abrams enters the ring, she can count on us to be in her corner.”
DFA also launched a similar effort in Maryland to back Ben Jealous, the former NAACP president, if he runs for office in that state. So far, it said, more than 3,300 people have pledged to volunteer and organize for his campaign.
Democrats haven’t controlled the Georgia governor’s office since the 2002 election, when Roy Barnes lost to Sonny Perdue in a stunning upset. But they hope Donald Trump’s presidency energizes voters to rally behind a Democrat to replace Gov. Nathan Deal, who is term-limited.
Three Republicans are already in the race – Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sen. Hunter Hill – and several more candidates are eyeing the contest.