Stacey Abrams: Mississippi Is Ripe for Liberal Transformation

Twice-failed gubernatorial candidate sets sights on Magnolia State

May 23, 2023

Twice-failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is setting her sights on Mississippi, with the liberal activist arguing that the Magnolia State is ripe for a Democratic takeover.

Asked during a Tuesday morning MSNBC appearance which Southern state "is ripest for the sort of transformation you helped accomplish in Georgia," Abrams quickly identified Mississippi, where Democratic challenger Brandon Presley is set to take on GOP governor Tate Reeves in November. "I think that we have an exciting set of elections coming up in Mississippi," Abrams said.

While Presley has attempted to position himself as a bipartisan populist, Abrams's involvement in the race could tarnish that image. The former Georgia state lawmaker co-chaired a liberal group that works to defund police, and in May 2021, Abrams joined the board of a far-left foundation that went on to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to communist academics who advocate for the abolition of prisons and private property. Abrams also serves as general counsel for environmental group Rewiring America, which has long pushed to eliminate oil and gas from America's economy.

Presley—whose campaign did not return a request for comment—has attracted excitement from national Democrats, who argue that the former mayor and current member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission could pull off a shock upset in a state that backed former president Donald Trump by 16 points in 2020.

If Presley is anything like Abrams, however, that excitement will fizzle into a disappointing Election Day showing. After serving for six years as minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, Abrams in 2018 ran for governor against Republican Brian Kemp. While Abrams spent an impressive $27 million on the race, she lost to Kemp by 1.5 points, a result she portrayed as "stolen" and "rigged."

Abrams challenged Kemp again in 2022, with the Democrat raising a record $113 million. That money did not help Abrams reverse her 2018 loss—she fell to Kemp by an even larger 7.5-point margin last November. State and national Democrats have nonetheless credited Abrams with transforming Georgia's electorate, though that electorate has failed to deliver Abrams a statewide win.

While Abrams's high-profile political campaigns have thus far ended in defeat, the liberal activist has found success as a romance novel author. Abrams, who has published most of her books under the pen name Selena Montgomery, inked a deal in 2021 to reissue her first three romance titles: Rules of Engagement, The Art of Desire, and Power of Persuasion.