Stacey Abrams—the only Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Georgia in 2022—called the Peach State "the worst state in the country to live" at a campaign event this weekend.
"I am tired of hearing about how we're the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live," Abrams said at a fundraiser, adding that Republicans would attack her for the statement.
Abrams, who has still not conceded she lost the Georgia governor's race in 2018, is reportedly worth more than $3 million—a 3,000 percent increase since her first run for governor. After losing to Gov. Brian Kemp (R.), Abrams said the election was "stolen" through "voter suppression"—a line of attack she has pursued in many subsequent media appearances. She made millions in 2021 by delivering dozens of paid speeches focused on Republican-led voting legislation passed in the wake of the 2020 election.
During the 2018 election, Abrams owed $54,000 to the IRS and had $96,000 in student loan debt and $83,000 in credit card debt. But each of those debts were paid off by the end of 2019. When Republicans took note of her financial success following political failure, Abrams accused them of having "demonized" her achievements.
Ahead of her 2022 run, Abrams engaged in an aggressive media rebrand, looking to style herself as a pragmatic moderate.
The two-time Georgia gubernatorial candidate later tried to clarify her comments from the fundraiser.
"GA may be #1 place for biz, but we're #48 in mental health, #2 in uninsured. #1 in maternal mortality & new HIV cases, #9 in gun violence," Abrams tweeted on Saturday. "For too many, Kemp's Georgia doesn’t include them. Why? Because #KempDoesntCare."
GA may be #1 place for biz, but we’re #48 in mental health, #2 in uninsured. #1 in maternal mortality & new HIV cases, #9 in gun violence. For too many, Kemp’s Georgia doesn’t include them. Why? Because #KempDoesntCare
As Governor, I’ll lead #OneGeorgia that’s #1 for all of us.
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) May 22, 2022
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution noted a similarity between Abrams's comment last weekend and one she made in 2018 that energized rural voters for Kemp. At a student rally in Statesboro, Abrams said "people shouldn't have to go into agriculture or hospitality in Georgia to make a living."
Kemp, the GOP frontrunner, has a 5-point lead on Abrams in the Georgia governor's race, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average.