Stacey Abrams will not challenge Georgia Sen. David Perdue in 2020.
“The fights to be waged require a deep commitment to the job, and I do not see the U.S. Senate as the best role for me in this battle for our nation’s future,” Abrams said in a video posted on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
The former state House minority leader, who narrowly lost a bid to become America’s first black female governor last fall, said she will do “everything in [her] power” to help Georgia elect a Democrat to the Senate in 2020.
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the 2020 Georgia Senate race Leans Republican.
Republicans immediately attacked Abrams' decision as a recruitment failure on the part of national Democrats, who continued to refer to Georgia as a “great pickup opportunity” on Tuesday.
“Stacey and Georgia Democrats laid a strong foundation for 2020, and Senator Perdue will be held accountable for driving up health care costs, giving big corporations and millionaires like himself a tax break, and putting the president ahead of what’s right,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Stewart Boss said in a statement.
Democrat Jon Ossoff, who lost the special election in Georgia's 6th District in 2017, had previously said he would back Abrams for Senate if she ran. Ossoff said Tuesday he hasn't ruled out a run. Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who filed for the race in April, is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday now that Abrams is out. Sarah Riggs Amico, a lieutenant governor candidate in 2018, may also be gearing up for a run, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
Abrams, who's been mentioned as a presidential candidate or future cabinet member, did not give too many hints as to what she’s planning to do instead. She could run for governor again in 2022.
“While I still don’t know exactly what’s next for me, here’s what I do know: Democracy in America is under attack. Voter suppression is rampant and it is real,” she said.
At the end of voting last November, when Abrams trailed Republican Brian Kemp by less than 2 points, she initially sought to make it to the general election runoff. As Georgia’s secretary of state, Kemp came under criticism for supervising his own own election and for enforcing restrictive voting laws that Abrams believes disenfranchised minority voters.
But a week after the election, Abrams acknowledged Kemp’s victory, although she refused to call it a concession. She founded a new voting rights group called Fair Fight, which has been active in the months since her loss. In her Tuesday video, she alluded to “groundbreaking initiatives to protect the right to vote” that her team would be announcing soon.
Abrams formally introduced herself on the national stage earlier this year by giving the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.