Stacey Abrams wins Democratic gubernatorial primary in Georgia

Brynn Anderson
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Stacey Abrams is the winner of the Democratic nomination for governor in Georgia, NBC News projected Tuesday. She ran unopposed.

Abrams will face a rematch with incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, who was secretary of state when he narrowly defeated her in 2018. She accused Kemp of perpetuating discriminatory election practices that mostly affected Black voters.

Since then, Abrams has become a leading voting rights activist. She has been widely credited for her efforts to register hundreds of thousands of voters through her organization Fair Fight and in helping deliver Georgia to President Joe Biden. That momentum, along with that of other organizers, also helped Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to secure Senate seats.

Among the issues she has focused on is the expansion of Medicaid in Georgia.

In recent days, Abrams faced backlash — including a racist attack Monday from former Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga. — over comments she made Saturday about Kemp's claim that under his leadership, Georgia has become the best state to do business in.

"I am tired of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live," Abrams said. "Now, somebody's going to try to PolitiFact me on this — let me contextualize. When you're No. 48 for mental health, when you're No. 1 for maternal mortality, when you have an incarceration rate that's on the rise and wages that are on the decline, then you are not the No. 1 place to live."

She added: "You see, Georgia is capable of greatness. We just need greatness to be in our governor's office."

In an interview Monday evening on MSNBC with Joy Reid, Abrams said that her statement Saturday was "inartfully delivered" but that her point was one she has made many times.

"We're listening to Brian Kemp give a narrative about a record that does not reflect reality," she said, adding that she has heard firsthand from concerned Georgians throughout the state.

In response, Perdue accused Abrams of "demeaning her own race" in her description of the state's problems and said she should "go back to where she came from." Abrams was born in Madison, Wisconsin, grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, and moved to Georgia in high school. She graduated from Avondale High School in DeKalb County and Spelman College in Atlanta.