In a rare campaign appearance on Thursday morning, Oprah Winfrey boosted Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams in metro Atlanta, seeking to help her become the nation's first African-American female governor.
“I’m here today because of Stacey Abrams,” Winfrey said in a speech that was briefly broadcast across all major cable-news networks. “And I’m here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed and oppressed... I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain.”
Despite the persistent social media chatter about a 2020 run against Trump, Winfrey once again said such a thing is decidedly not in the cards for her.
“I want to make it very clear to all the press, everybody: I'm not here because I’m making some grandstand because I’m thinking about running myself,” the media mogul said. “I don’t want to run, OK? I’m not trying to test any waters. Don’t want to go in those waters! I’m here today because of Stacey Abrams.”
Winfrey added that she was in Marietta on her own accord, that she is a registered political independent, and that “No one paid for me to come here. No one asked me to come here.”
She will later join Abrams at another campaign event and is anticipated to knock on doors on behalf of the candidate as well. Winfrey’s arrival comes just five days before Georgia voters decide on what polls suggest will be an extremely tight race for the governorship.
The Real Clear Politics average poll data shows Republican nominee and current Secretary of State Brian Kemp leading by an average of just 1.4 points, with the prospect of a runoff election possible if neither earn more than 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
The race has lately focused on Kemp's role in purging voters—many of whom are African-American—from state voter rolls, leading to charges of voter suppression. His actions even prompted former President Jimmy Carter to call for his immediate resignation.
In addition to Winfrey’s visit, former President Barack Obama and President Trump will hold competing rallies in the state in coming days.