Four years ago, Stacey Abrams arrived at the Georgia State Capitol as the House Minority Leader and hoped to make a substantive run for the Governor’s Mansion. On March 6, 2018, Abrams ran for governor, saw her star shine brighter after suspending her campaign (she never conceded defeat to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp), launched Fair Fight (an organization dedicated to fighting voter suppression), and was given her flowers after helping register 800,000 voters before the 2020 Presidential Election.

Abrams announced her intentions to run for Governor on December 1st. Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Abrams put pen to paper and successfully submitted her paperwork to run for Governor later this year. She says her platform has remained largely unchanged in the past four years. 

“When I ran for governor in 2018, I ran on a platform of opportunity for wanting to ensure that we expand Medicaid, that we fully and permanently fund education, that we build economic development plans that work for every Georgian,” Abrams explained. “Sadly, those are still the issues we need to focus on. The last four years of inaction and ineptitude by the current governor means that I’m simply trying again, to do what’s right for Georgia. And I believe this time that we’ll get it done.”

Abrams emphasized her belief in healthcare access for all.

“I believe that expanding Medicaid serves us all,” Abrams said. “Defending our right to vote serves us all. Ensuring access to education, whether you live in rural communities or in the city serves us all. We need a governor who believes in all of Georgia.”

Abrams has no opposition on the Democratic side as she is Georgia’s de facto leader and torch bearer.

Abrams was joined by State Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, State Senate Minority Leader Elena Parent, D-Decatur, campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo, her family members and about forty supporters. 

Tuesday’s announcement was not lost on the minds of her potential Republican challengers.  

Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams walks into the State Capitol on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Abrams signed the paperwork needed to get on the ballot for November’s election. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“We hope Stacey Abrams has her concession speech more readily available this go around, she’ll need it once and for all,” said Republican National Committee Garrison Douglas.

Former U.S. Senator David Perdue is expected to qualify later this week. When he declared his intentions to run for governor in December, Perdue went on FOX News with one agenda: stopping Stacey Abrams.

“I got in [the race] very simply to stop Stacey Abrams and save our state,” said Perdue. “It is a sad state of affairs that our current governor has lost the confidence of many Republicans.”

According to a recent FOX News poll, Kemp received 50% of the vote, Perdue received 39% of the vote, and 10% of voters are “unsure” or would consider voting for another conservative.

According to the January 31st campaign finance report filing, Perdue reported raising about $1.2 million, about half of the $2.5 million Kemp reported raising in the same two-month period. And Perdue reported far less cash on hand — just under $900,000 — than either Kemp ($12.7 million) or Abrams ($7.7 million.)

While the Republicans are preparing for battle leading up to the May 24th primary, Abrams is moving full speed ahead. Abrams was asked about the bitter redistricting fights currently taking place and she was disgusted.

“We know that in pockets of our country, including the State of Georgia, there have been aggressive attacks on communities of color that should not be supported and should not be sustainable,” Abrams said. “And that means that we’ve got to fight harder to make certain that every voice is heard in this country, especially in the state of Georgia. We have watched the naked power grab here in the Capitol against our local communities, because there are Republicans who do not like the rise of diversity in certain counties.”

Cobb County and Gwinnett County are the two places where the infighting in their delegations have been toxic. Cobb County has county commissioners that have been drawn out of their districts. Conversely, Gwinnett County is looking to elect new school board members after the new map has been recently agreed upon and signed into law by Governor Kemp. 

Lastly, the Fulton County Board of Elections (which has been on the GOP’s firing line since former President Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 Presidential Election) has been in the cross-hairs of many conservatives. Republicans believe the State should take over and provide oversight to the organization. The fact is Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett Counties are three of the most ethnically diverse counties in Georgia.

“We should be looking for leaders who are willing to let the people of those communities decide their leaders not to manipulate and strategize in order to steal voices and steal power in the state of Georgia,” Abrams said. “But that said, Democrats have demonstrated that at the state and national level our capacity to lead and I’m excited to be at the top of the ticket with Senator Raphael Warnock to pave our way forward.”

Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams signs the paperwork needed to get on the ballot for November’s election. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

While Abrams will not face a primary challenge, there are multiple Democrats vying for the opportunity to become Georgia’s next Lieutenant Governor. 

Kwanza Hall announced his intentions to run for Lieutenant Governor Monday. Hall served as an Atlanta City Councilman from 2006-2017. Before that, he was on the Atlanta School Board from 2003-2006. Hall would later finish out the remaining term of the late U.S. Rep and civil rights icon John Lewis. 

State Rep. Renitta Shannon qualified to appear on the ballot as well. Shannon has served in the State House since 2017, fighting for workers’ rights, combatting voter restrictions, and advocating for abortion rights. If elected, the attorney from South DeKalb would become the first member of the LGBTQ community to win a statewife office. 

State Rep. Derrick Jackson is also running for Lieutenant Governor. Jackson served in the U.S. Navy for twenty-two years. He joined the Legislature in 2017, representing the 64th House District, which largely comprises portions of Fayette County. 

On the Republican side, Senate Pro Tempore Butch Miller is running for Lieutenant Governor. Even though Miller is currently one of the more powerful Republicans in the state, Miller said he would continue to champion conservative values if handed the gavel in 2023. 

“I believe I’m uniquely qualified because of my personal background with my family, uniquely qualified because of my business experience, and uniquely qualified because of my legislative experience,” Miller explained. “I’ve served in a number of roles and that makes me the person the great individual, the distinct individual to lead this state forward and the State Senate.”

Georgia’s primary is scheduled for May 24th and the deadline to register to vote is April 25th. 

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...