Stacey Abrams’ political future is the subject of intense speculation after she helped turn Georgia blue for President-elect Joe Biden. With more work on the horizon, three Democrats with knowledge of the former state house minority leader’s aspirations tell The Daily Beast that they expect her to run for governor in 2022.
“Stacey Abrams intends to run for governor again,” said Wendy Davis, a Democratic National Committee member who is on the executive committee of the Georgia Democratic Party. “I think that is a secret to no one.”
Davis noted that a gubernatorial primary will take place to unseat Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, but that Abrams is considered to be the presumed frontrunner for the nomination—even without announcing a bid—among plugged-in Georgia Democrats.
“Everyone in Democratic circles has the expectation that she will be the Democratic nominee in two years for governor,” she said.
A spokesperson for Abrams said, “Leader Abrams has made no decisions about her political future and is solely focused on electing Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock on January 5.”
The network Abrams constructed during her first run for governor, which she lost very narrowly to Kemp, is being credited as a big part of Biden’s likely win in the state. As a result, intrigue has mounted about her next move, with talk about her possibly taking on a leadership post at the Democratic National Committee or within the incoming Biden administration. But knowledgeable sources point back to a governor race rematch as what Abrams wants most.
“In my opinion, she would like to be governor of Georgia,” said close Abrams ally DuBose Porter, the former Georgia Democratic Party chairman, speaking in a personal capacity. “Stacey Abrams is about getting the work done.”
A third source, who has had conversations both with and about Abrams, said that another run for governor is indeed being considered, but emphasized that she is focusing on anti-voter suppression work, particularly as national attention shifts to two runoff Senate races that will determine the political direction of the upper chamber of Congress.
The Biden campaign placed Georgia as one of just three reach states that they sought to turn blue, hoping to expand the party’s old electoral map to defeat President Donald Trump. The fact that Georgia is narrowly trending in that direction at the top of the ticket is, in part, thanks to the work Abrams put in place during her first governor run in 2018, where voter suppression contributed to her close loss to unseat Kemp. She has since escalated her organizing and mobilizing efforts with Fair Fight, the group she founded in the aftermath of that election, and offered a strong closing pitch to voters to “make a plan to vote early” leading up to Nov. 3.
Abrams has earned the respect of many people in Bidenworld. She was vetted to be a vice-presidential contender, and sources note that she hasn’t definitively turned down any hypothetical opportunities. But appearing on ABC’s The View on Thursday, Abrams turned her attention back to a singular state focus when asked about the position she would want the most in the White House.
“I am interested in making certain that Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have a place to lead by working with senators to help Joe Biden,” she said. Her extended answer further emphasized her priorities in Georgia.
“One of the ways we were able to flip Georgia was because I have been working on it for ten years,” Abrams went on. “I know the work we did across this country through Fair Fight 2020 made certain we had enough states that flipped back that we could work together to make certain Joe Biden became president, and now I’m focused on getting the last piece across the finish line, and that is the U.S. Senate race on January 5th in Georgia.”