Stacey Abrams, the Democratic former candidate for Georgia governor and activist is greatly responsible with helping to flip Georgia Blue in the presidential election. She is a large reason that the Joe Biden/ Kamala Harris ticket won the state of Georgia. Instead of celebrating she knew she had to continue the fight and rallied Dems in the state of Georgia and help deliver the Senate to Biden by igniting voters to come out again in the run off election.
Talk about Failing Forward. One of my favorite books is Failing Forward by John Maxwell. In the book Maxwell says that people who want to fail forward need to be able to turn their attention away from themselves and towards others. “Many people who struggle with chronic failure do so because they think of no one but themselves,” Maxwell says. He points to the words of Calvin Coolidge, who said, “No enterprise can exist for itself alone.
Stacey Abrams did not just think of herself, she turned her attention to helping the Democratic Party turn the state of Georgia from Red to Blue. Actually maybe Purple – now that its up for grabs and will now be a battleground state both parties will fight hard for – but she has the chance to truly make The Peach State, truly Blue by running and winning the Governor race in 2022.
But if she decides to run, win or lose, Stacey Abrams is already a winner for how instrumental she was in the election of 2020. She is credited for attracting thousands of new voters (especially African-American voters) to register or re-register – for those who were perched in 2018 – and then galvanized voters of color and progressive white voters to come out to the polls. She helped fight against the institutional and systemic racism in the form of voter suppression, that Georgia is as famous for. Voters suppression is as Georgian as the Peach, the Big Chicken, Vidalia onions, the Falcons, the Braves and the Hawks, just to name a few of the things Georgia is known for. Its has also became known as a RED STATE until Stacey Abrams and others helped changed that.
Sometimes referred to as the Empire State of the South, Georgia, one of the original 13 colonies, entered the Union in January 1788. The state has participated in every presidential election except 1864 (due to secession). From 1868 thru 1960, the state was as “blue” as can be – voting Democratic in every election. Like many other southern states, its residents were conservative Democrats that went “red” in 1964 in response to unhappiness over the Civil Rights Act, which was effectively exploited by the Republicans in a tactic called the “southern strategy.” In 1968, Georgia voted for Independent George Wallace in an election that marked the last time a third-party candidate received any electoral votes.
Georgia has been reliably Republican since 1972, except when a southern Democrat was on the ticket – Georgians sided with native son Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980 and then Bill Clinton in 1992. In 2004, George Bush easily defeated John Kerry by 58% to 41%. Republican margins have been more narrow since then, as the state’s rapidly growing population has led to some shifts in overall demographics. Even Barack Obama, the first African-American President could not win in Georgia, with a record turnout.
Republican John McCain was able to keep Georgia in the GOP column in 2008, despite the large African-American turnout that kept the margin of victory within single digits. With its 15 electoral votes, Georgia was the second-largest prize for McCain against Obama in 2008 (behind only Texas). Obama would lose in Georgia again in 2012, when he lost to Mitt Romney 53.40% – 45.44% by 308,460 votes. In 2016, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by about 5%.
But in 2020, thanks to Stacey Abrams and others, Trump would be the first sitting president to fail to win re-election in nearly three decades. The last time an incumbent president did not succeed in winning a second four-year term was when George H.W. Bush was defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992. Clinton ironically was the last Democrat to win the state of Georgia until Biden in 2020.
Time magazine has named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris 2020’s Person of the Year. The two made history on November 7th when they beat Donald Trump in a bitter election that put him in a small club of presidents who served only one term. I started to think if Black Westchester was to do a 2020 Person Of The Year, it would have to be Stacey Abrams for the work she did to help Biden and Harris make history. While it probably should be someone from Westchester, I couldn’t think of another person who had such a profound effect in changing the political climate and direction in 2020. Speaking up against voter suppression and helping to encourage the the large voter turnout of voters of color in history, even bigger than the Obama turnout. She became the face for the fight against voter suppression nationwide.
And then her follow-through in the Georgia Senate Run-Off on January 5, 2021, because Georgia wasn’t just on the late great Ray Charles’ mind, Georgia was on everyone’s mind on both sides of the aisle.
Then Democrat Raphael Warnock won one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs Wednesday, becoming the first Black senator in his state’s history and putting the Senate majority within the Democrats’ reach. The January 5th Run-Off Election mark the formal finale to the turbulent 2020 election season more than two months after the rest of the nation finished voting. The unusually high stakes transformed Georgia, once a solidly Republican state, into one of the nation’s premier battlegrounds for the final days of Trump’s presidency — and likely beyond.
Rev. Warnock’s victory brought an end to the 24-year losing streak for Democratic Party senate candidates in the state. He is the fifth and the youngest person to serve as Ebenezer Baptist Church’s senior pastor since its founding. Yes the church known for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of its former senior pastors. Warnock has stated that he will continue in the post while serving in the Senate. Rev. Warnock was the pastor of the late John Lewis who he credits as an example that should be followed “in this dark moment in America.”
With Democrats on the cusp of winning control of the U.S. Senate, one woman is again being lauded—Stacey Abrams.
Abrams has been on a years-long mission to tackle voter suppression in the state, initially working to register Georgia voters with her New Georgia Project and then with Fair Fight, the voting rights organization she founded after narrowly losing her bid to become Georgia’s first Black governor in 2018. Her efforts were widely credited for Georgia flipping Democrat in the 2020 election.
Now, Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in Tuesday’s special Senate election to become the first Black senator in Georgia’s history, Newsweek wrote Wednesday morning, January 6th.
Then it was official, Jon Ossoff unseated incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue in the second of two runoff elections in Georgia. Making Ossoff, who is 33, the first millennial to be elected to the Senate and the youngest Democratic Senator-elect since President-elect Joe Biden in 1973. Biden, now 78, won his first Senate seat in Delaware at the age of 30. Ossoff made history of his own becoming the first Jewish person elected to the Senate from Georgia.
While we are talking about history, Warnock and Ossoff’s victories led to Chuck Schumer becoming both the first Jewish Senate Majority Leader and first Senate Majority Leader from New York. This can all be thanks to the hard work of Stacey Abrams who had the Governor race snatched from her in 2018 and snatched the whole damn state back for the Democrats. All eyes were on Georgia and the Jan. 5th Run-Off Election that gave the Dems control over the Senate.
Black Westchester salutes Stacey Abrams as our 2020 Person Of The Year!