Former President Barack Obama praised Abrams' "resilient, visionary leadership" on Wednesday

By Virginia Chamlee
January 06, 2021 05:51 PM
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Stacey Abrams
| Credit: Credit: Katrina Hajagos

Former gubernatorial candidate and grassroots organizer Stacey Abrams is again being heralded for her political activism in Georgia, where Democrats are projected to win a pair of Senate run-off races that will give the party control both chambers of Congress as well as the White House.

On Wednesday, former President Barack Obama issued a statement congratulating Rev. Raphael Warnock for his win, writing that Democrats' performance in Georgia was due in large part to Abrams.

"I want to congratulate Reverend Raphael Warnock on his election as Georgia's next U.S. Senator—and while we're still waiting on final results in the other runoff, it's clear that last night's showing, alongside President-Elect Biden's November victory in Georgia, is a testament to the power of the tireless and often unheralded work of grassroots organizing and the resilient, visionary leadership of Stacey Abrams," Obama wrote.

President-elect Biden also thanked Abrams for her work increasing turnout in the state, saying that she and Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms "laid the difficult groundwork necessary to encourage turnout and protect the vote over these last years."

Though she was expected to launch another campaign after her narrow and controversial 2018 defeat, Abrams instead worked overtime to turn out the vote, an effort that many Democrats now attribute for flipping the state blue.

But Abrams' work, along with the efforts of other Black political organizers in the state, to increase Democrat voter turnout in Georgia extends back a decade.

In 2014, Abrams, 46, co-founded the New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan group that aimed to register voters and get them more civically engaged.

Following her 2018 campaign, Abrams founded another voting rights organization, Fair Fight, which worked to fight challenges to voting that disproportionately affect minority voters including purged voter rolls and long lines.

Abrams' voter mobilization efforts were largely credited for Biden's victory in the state which, though narrow enough to require a recount, flipped the Peach State blue in a Presidential election for the first time in nearly 30 years.

In November, analysts, lawmakers and celebrities alike lauded Abrams for her work in increasing turnout in the presidential election.

Now, after the Democrats' projected victory in the Senate races, it appears her work has continued to pay off.

If Democrats win both races, they'll control the White House and both houses of Congress — a feat activists and celebrities attributed directly to Abrams.

"Feeling oddly thankful that @staceyabrams had her own election stolen from her so that she had time to save America," actor Edward Norton wrote. "So much work still to be done, but this morning I'm just deeply grateful for Stacey & many others who dedicated themselves to the cause of democracy."

Analyst and CNN talking head Van Jones echoed those remarks, writing that Abrams' work led to a "miraculous outcome" in Georgia.

But Abrams has long been quick to praise the efforts of others, such as Georgia's 2016 decision, to create an automatic voter registration program for those people with driver's licenses.

That decision alone led to record high registrations in the months leading up to the election.

Following Tuesday's race, Abrams went on Twitter to praise those who "built this victory," including volunteers and staffers at Fair Fight.

Abrams is expected to run for office again in the future, with rumors circulating about a 2022 gubernatorial run, though some have suggested her influence on American politics is great enough that she deserves a spot in the incoming administration.