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ATLANTA, GA – This Saturday, House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams kicked off her campaign for governor at Chehaw Park in Albany, Georgia, where she was joined by 100 supporters from Southwest Georgia. Below is a roundup of coverage from the day.
House Minority Leader Abrams set forth her vision for the campaign:
The Albany Herald (Terry Lewis): Stacey Abrams formally launches campaign for governor at Chehaw
Georgia, Abrams said, must knit into one state, “anyone who says otherwise is not thinking broadly enough. […] The governor has three priorities, and he or she has to be able to do them all at the same time,” Abrams said. “We have to educate bold and ambitious children; we have to engage the power of the citizens so they understand this is their government, and we have to have a thriving and diverse economy. We have to realize we are a one statewide coalition and start in the corners of the state in the areas which have always lifted up Georgia, but often get forgotten by politicians in Atlanta.”
Described the type of governor she would be:
WALB (Mike Fussell): Georgia House rep launches bid for governor in Albany
“Albany understands better than a lot of places how important a responsive government can be. It’s a place that has amazing promise. It’s also a place that has amazing challenges, struggles and everything in between. I want to be a governor that serves the entire state. I think Albany is the best place to begin that conversation.”
Described how she can win:
AM Joy (Joy Ann Reid): GA Dem Leader Announces Run for Governor
“What we have the opportunity to do in this election is build a coalition of voters. People of color will be the center of that coalition because they are the majority of the Democratic Party. But this is a coalition that will invite everyone in. The problem we have had is that no one has invested in going to those communities and talking to those voters early.”
Highlighted the historic nature of her bid:
USA TODAY (Heidi M. Przybyla): Georgia Democrat face of party’s southern hopes
Asked about the lessons of 2016 and the potentially historic nature of her own bid, she acknowledged the obvious challenges ahead. Among them: Running as a minority and a woman in a state that’s elevated neither to its highest office. “My opportunity and the reason I’m doing this is because my goal is to not only have the ability to lift up the families in my state but to redefine our belief in who can lead,” said Abrams.
Discussed how to balance compromise and competition with Republicans:
The Atlanta Journal Constitution (Greg Bluestein): Georgia 2018: Stacey Abrams runs to be state’s first black governor
Abrams, who heads her party’s caucus in the Georgia House, said that as governor she’ll embrace the same knack for compromise with Republicans who have controlled the statehouse for more than a decade when she sees common ground. But she said she would stick to a fiercely progressive agenda on some of the biggest partisan divides, including efforts to restrict abortion or pass “religious liberty” legislation she views as discriminatory. To emphasize that point, her announcement coincided with formal endorsements from Emily’s List, the influential left-leaning group, and Democracy for America, a progressive PAC with about 1 million supporters across the nation.
Outlined why she began her campaign in Southwest Georgia:
The Washington Post (Vanessa Williams): Georgia Democrat aims to be nation’s first female African American governor
Abrams is widely considered to be one of the most skilled and savvy political leaders in the state legislature and hopes to replace term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal (R), who has served since 2011…At her kickoff, she told the crowd that she launched her campaign outside the metro Atlanta area because “Albany is just like where I grew up. I’m from a town that is about 150 miles from the capital. Sometimes that 150 miles is a lifetime away. I’m from a place that can also be forgotten because it’s not where we think politics and business should happen.” Five women — four white and two black — from Thomasville, a small town near the Georgia-Florida line, drove up together to cheer on Abrams. They call themselves Indivisible Women of Southern Georgia and say they are united in their opposition to President Trump.
Discussed building coalitions to get elected and foster bold, ambitious goals:
The Associated Press (Kathleen Foody): Stacey Abrams launches campaign for Georgia governor
“I think whatever challenges there are, we should imagine ourselves to be capable of employing every single Georgian,” Abrams told the AP this week. “We should imagine ourselves capable of eliminating generational poverty. We should imagine ourselves capable of prosperity, where we are not talking simply about a living wage – we’re talking about wealth…” Abrams said this week that a winning campaign will require a broad “coalition” but maintained that registering new voters is also a critical task. “I plan to bring it home and close the gap completely by not deciding that you can only do one or the other,” she said. “You’ve got to walk and chew gum at the exact same time.”
And explained the role race and gender should play in politics:
NPR Weekend Edition (Lulu Garcia-Navarro): Georgia Governor Candidate Wants To Acknowlege Race, But ‘Move Past That Conversation’
“You cannot look at me and not know my race or my gender. And I think it’s important that we acknowledge race, that we acknowledge gender. You can’t tackle problems if you refuse to admit they exist – and there is a problem with how we think about the role of leadership for women of color. I see race and gender and class as markers, they let us tell stories about who we think people are. But then my job and the job of everyone in leadership is to move us past that conversation. I am not doing my job not when I ignore race, but when I use race to help me understand the broader complications people are facing and the barriers that may be in their way.”
See more reactions to Minority Leader Abrams’ announcement here.