By Christianna Silva
Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia who electrified voters, announced on Tuesday that she would not run for Senate in 2020, despite Democrats aggressively courting her to run against David Perdue, one of President Trump’s closest allies in Congress and the Republican incumbent for a Georgia senate seat.
“I am so grateful for all of the support and encouragement I have received from fellow Georgians, to leaders of Congress and beyond,” she said in a video posted to Twitter that announced her decision. “However the fights to be waged require a deep commitment to the job, and I do not see the U.S. Senate as the best role for me in this battle for our nation’s future.”
Abrams was more than just the Democratic favorite to beat Perdue in 2020 – she’s also been floated as a potential presidential candidate and possible pick for vice president. According to ABC News, she’d rather run for executive office before running for a legislative seat. She even told Politico in March that she might wait until fall to declare her candidacy, although she denied reports that she was planning to sign on as Joe Biden’s running mate. She did not confirm or deny a potential White House run in her April 30 video.
Abrams also told Politico that said she was considering running for Georgia governor again in 2022, which she didn’t deny in her announcement video, either. While she ultimately lost the 2018 election to then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, she ran an extremely effective campaign and narrowed the gap between the Democratic and Republican candidates to the closest it had been in years in the state. She became known as a leader in the party, particularly for connecting with people of color, the New York Times reported at the time. After her loss, which was some activists claim was due to voter suppression in the state, she founded the voting rights group Fight Fair Action, which promotes fair elections and combats voter suppression.
While Abrams didn’t specify which elected office she would be running for in 2020, if any, she emphasized that she plans to stay in the political arena and throw her support behind any Democrat who does run for Senate against Perdue.
“Let me be clear: I will do everything in my power to ensure that Georgia elects a Democrat to the United States Senate in 2020,” she said in the video.
There aren’t any Democrats currently running for that senate seat, but Teresa Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, Georgia, did launch an exploratory committee for a potential run.
Tomlinson, a lawyer who served as the first executive director of MidTown Inc., a nonprofit focused on revitalizing Columbus in 2006, said in a press release on Tuesday that she looks forward to working together with Abrams.
“I join Georgians across the state in wishing Stacey well as she considers how she can best serve her state and country,” Tomlinson said in a press release, according to the Ledger-Enquirer. “While she has decided against a Senate run, Stacey helped make this a two-party state and I intend to keep working with her to turn Georgia blue in 2020.”