Stacey Abrams has clinched the Democratic nomination for governor in the state of Georgia once again.
The voting rights champion ran unopposed in Tuesday’s primary following years of grassroots organizing. Her initial victory comes nearly four years after she narrowly lost the last governor’s race to Republican Brian Kemp, who was in charge of overseeing the election in his capacity as Georgia’s secretary of state.
Kemp, meanwhile, is attempting to fend off a challenge for the Republican nomination from David Perdue, whose racist remarks about Abrams landed him in hot water this week. The GOP race presents a chance for voters to signal how much stock they put in former President Donald Trump’s endorsement when he picked Perdue over Kemp, who then refused to help Trump overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In 2018, many critics alleged that it was unfair for Kemp to be in charge of an election in which he was also a candidate in a competitive race, and he was accused of voter suppression. While secretary of state, Kemp shut down 214 polling places after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that gave the federal government power to oversee changes to a state’s voting procedures.
Kemp also purged around 1.4 million “inactive” voters from the rolls between 2010 and 2018, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which noted that low-income people and people of color were more likely to have their names culled.
Abrams lost the 2018 gubernatorial race by about 55,000 votes out of approximately 4 million, in a process characterized by hours-long lines, delays and confusion at polling places.
She delivered a non-concession speech that acknowledged Kemp as the winner but called his work running the election “appalling,” saying that “eight years of systemic disenfranchisement, disinvestment and incompetence had its desired effect.”
“Concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede,” Abrams said at the time.
Afterward, she took on a project to help people register to vote. Almost 1.3 million people in Georgia have registered since the 2018 race, NBC News reported in December.
While many find Abrams hard to precisely pin down on the political spectrum, she supports standard Democratic policy fare such as better access to abortion and affordable health care, stronger gun control laws and efforts to prevent discrimination.