Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic candidate for Georgia governor, is not running for president in 2020 ― instead, she’ll be launching an initiative to better protect voters in battleground states ahead of the election.
In a speech Tuesday at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades convention in Las Vegas, Abrams announced her new Fair Fight 2020 project, which aims to fund and train teams to develop a “voter protection infrastructure” across 20 states nationwide, according to a news release.
“I’m going to use my energy and my very loud voice to raise the money we need to train people in states to make sure [President Donald] Trump… take[s] a hike,” said Abrams, a former state representative. “To make sure every ballot gets counted … we are going to fight to make sure every voice is heard, every eligible American who should have the vote will be able to.”
Abrams will not be running for president in 2020, a spokesman confirmed to HuffPost. In her Tuesday announcement, Abrams said: “There’s only two things stopping us in 2020: Making sure people have a reason to vote, and have a right to vote. I’ve decided to leave it to a whole bunch of other people to make sure they have a reason to vote. But I’ll make sure people have a right to vote.”
(The New York Times first reported that Abrams will not run for president next year, citing people familiar with her plans.)
After Abrams’ narrow loss in Georgia’s gubernatorial race in November ― an election mired in a voter suppression controversy ― Abrams continued her yearslong work in voting rights by starting the group Fair Fight Georgia, which promotes fair elections and voter participation.
This new initiative of Fair Fight will include a multimillion-dollar investment to help state Democratic parties and other groups ensure eligible voters can register, get to the polls and have their votes counted. The project is expected to cost around $4-5 million, The Washington Post first reported, and will primarily be located in the Midwest and Southeast.
“With the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, the scourge of voter suppression measures, and foreign election interference, protecting the right to vote is more important than ever,” Fair Fight wrote in its release.
People had been pushing Abrams to run for office again since her November loss. In April, Abrams said she would not be running for U.S. Senate in Georgia. When asked in June by women in Atlanta whether she’d consider a run for president, Vogue reported that Abrams had replied: “I’m gonna run for something.” Now it appears she will not be running in the immediate future.
Samuel Levine contributed reporting.
This story has been updated with confirmation from Abrams’ team that she is not running for president in 2020.