The politician graduated from Yale Law School and served as the minority leader of Georgia's House of Representatives

By Emily Zauzmer
November 06, 2018 01:12 PM
Stacey Abrams in November 2018
| Credit: John Bazemore/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Stacey Abrams will make history if she’s elected as governor of Georgia during the midterm elections on Tuesday.

As the 44-year-old Democratic nominee faces off against Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, here is what you need to know about the woman who has captured national attention.

1. She has celebrity support — including from Oprah Winfrey.

In November, Winfrey appeared at campaign events for Abrams, as Vice President Mike Pence vouched for Kemp. Winfrey pounded the pavement to urge citizens to vote for Abrams.

In one video that Winfrey shared on Instagram, a woman named Denise was amazed to open her front door and find the former talk show host. “Oh my god!” Denise yelped. “Hi Oprah.”

At one of her campaign appearances, Winfrey denied that she is running for president and praised Abrams for “standing strong for the values that matter to me and the values that matter to Georgians all over this state.”

Comedian Will Ferrell and his wife Viveca also canvassed for Abrams, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Former president Barack Obama — who labeled Abrams the “most experienced, most qualified candidate in this race” — jetted to Georgia to lend his support as well, Politico reported.

Pence has criticized Abrams’ famous fans. “I heard Oprah was in town today. And I heard Will Ferrell was going door-to-door the other day,” he said, according to Time. “Well I’d like to remind Stacey and Oprah and Will Ferrell: I’m kind of a big deal, too.”

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2. She has a history in politics.

Abrams graduated from Yale Law School and served as the minority leader of Georgia’s House of Representatives, according to CNN.

President Donald Trump called her “not qualified to be the governor of Georgia” and said to “take a look at her past” and “what she wants to do and what she has in mind for the state.”

Abrams defended herself on CNN. “He’s wrong,” Abrams responded. “As President Obama pointed out, I am the most qualified candidate running. If you look at both my academic background, my work history … I know what I’m talking about, and I have the plans to prove it.”

Barack Obama and Stacey Abrams
| Credit: John Bazemore/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“We have a plan in place for remarkable turnout on election day,” she added. “I think they’re getting scared, and I think desperation tends to lead to comments that aren’t necessarily grounded in reality.”

3. If she wins, she would make the history books.

If elected, Abrams would be the first black female governor in American history, according to The Washington Post.

“We have an opportunity to make history,” Felicia Davis, who has worked on Abrams’ campaign, told The Washington Post. “It’s like the ceiling on top of the glass ceiling.”

“I come to this race understanding that our diversity is a strength. No, I am not like what has preceded me. I look very different,” Abrams said on CNN. “But that difference is about my experiences and my sympathy and my empathy for the communities who need a voice.”

Stacey Abrams
| Credit: ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

4. She defended her gun control stance on The View.

Meghan McCain pressed her on her gun control stance on The View in October.

“Do you, like Everytown, support banning the AR-15?” McCain asked.

“Let’s be clear: I am not anti-gun. My great-grandmother taught me how to shoot when I was growing up in Mississippi,” Abrams said. “I don’t hunt because I mostly eat chicken, and that just seems mean.”

“However, I know that the most responsible gun owners understand that they have the responsibility for the firearms and making sure that only responsible people have those firearms. That’s why I believe in a background check. I believe in a three-day waiting period. I believe that those who commit domestic violence and stalking should not have access to weapons. I do not believe that weapons of mass destruction like the AR-15 believe in civilian hands.”

5. She is an author.

Abrams has written eight romance suspense books under the name Selena Montgomery, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Her books have sold more than 100,000 copies.

Stacey Abrams
| Credit: John Bazemore/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“Storytelling is absolutely a necessary part of how you do politics,” Abrams told the newspaper, “because people need to understand that you get their story and that you can explain complicated ideas to them in ways that resonate, especially if it is not their own story.”