Abrams Thinking About Run for Senate in Georgia, Doesn’t Rule Out Presidential Bid

Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams / Getty Images

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Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams is thinking of running for the U.S. Senate in 2020 and potentially making another run for governor after Republican Brian Kemp defeated her in a race for that office.

Abrams fell just short in her bid to become the first Democratic governor of Georgia since Roy Barnes, who was elected in 1998 but defeated in his re-election bid in 2002 by Sonny Perdue. She received more than 1.9 million votes, a greater tally than Hillary Clinton got in the state in 2016.

In the aftermath of her close loss, Democrats looked at her as a strong contender to challenge Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.), who will be seeking a second term in 2020. At a donor conference in California, she told Politico she was considering a run against him or rematch with Kemp in 2022.

"I am thinking about both," she said.

"Georgia is my state," she said. "And the changes I talked about in this campaign remain changes I believe are necessary for our state to continue to progress, to serve the entirety of our state, and that the issues that I raised remain urgent and important."

As for a possible presidential run in what looks to be the most crowded field in Democratic primary history, she said she hadn't thought about it but wouldn't rule it out.

"I am open to all options, and it’s too soon after the election to know exactly what I’m going to do," she said.

Abrams declared "we won" in the midterms, in spite of her defeat, and she said her campaign and that of Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum showed there was a broader electorate that Democrats should go after in elections.

"The Deep South is rising again," Abrams said. "And we will not stop … Particularly for Georgia, we will be a battleground state, I believe, for the first time in more than 20 years."

Her race was marked by numerous accusations against Kemp of voter suppression, purges and efforts to disenfranchise black voters, although voter registrations rose 20 percent under him while he was secretary of state and Georgia voter turnout in 2018 was more than 60 percent higher than in 2014.

Abrams filed multiple lawsuits in the aftermath of Election Day in the hopes of forcing a runoff, but she wound up losing by 55,000 votes as Kemp claimed more than 50 percent of the vote. In her concession speech, she blasted Kemp and would not acknowledge the legitimacy of his victory. She later said it was not a "free or fair election in Georgia." She has since filed a lawsuit with her organization Fair Fight Action that accuses Georgia of having "grossly mismanaged" the election system.

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