Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, whose advocacy is credited with Georgia’s vote for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election and for both of the state’s new Democratic senators in last month’s runoff, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Lars Haltbrekken, a Socialist Party member of Norway’s Parliament, said in a statement on Monday, the first day of Black History Month in the U.S. and the last day for someone to be nominated for the prize, that “Abrams’ work follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil rights.”
“Abrams’ efforts to complete King’s work are crucial if the United States of America shall succeed in its effort to create fraternity between all its peoples and a peaceful and just society,” Haltbrekken said, per Reuters.
King won the award in 1964. The last U.S. winner of the Nobel Peace Prize was former President Obama in 2009.
In addition to Abrams, this year’s contenders include the group Black Lives Matter, former President Donald Trump, former White House adviser Jared Kushner, Russian politician Alexei Navalny, climate activist Greta Thunberg and WikiLeaks.
Abrams’ work boosting voter turnout has been widely praised for flipping Georgia to Democrats in the presidential and Senate elections. She was the first Black woman to become a Georgia gubernatorial nominee of either party in 2018, and a year later became the first African American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address.
Abrams’ fight against voter suppression began in 2014, when she launched the New Georgia Project to get unregistered Black Georgians signed up to vote in the midterm elections that year.
Following a narrow defeat in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial race to Republican now-Gov. Brian Kemp, Abrams created Fair Fight Action to continue combating voter suppression in Georgia and around the country.
Abrams received kudos from celebrities and lawmakers alike after President Biden narrowly defeated former President Trump in November and even more after Democrats pulled off a surprise sweep of Georgia’s Senate runoff elections.
It is widely expected that Abrams will soon announce a second bid for Georgia’s governorship. No Black woman has been elected a state’s governor.