Democrat Stacey Abrams has officially qualified to run for governor again in Georgia
ATLANTA — Democrat Stacey Abrams became the biggest name so far to qualify to run for governor of Georgia on Tuesday, saying she’s “trying again to do what’s right for Georgia” after narrowly lost to Republican Brian Kemp in 2018.
Abrams announced his candidacy in December and has no declared Democratic opposition yet. Kemp’s re-election is being contested in his own party by former U.S. Senator David Perdue and other Republicans. Kemp and Perdue plan to qualify later this week, before the polls are set on Friday.
But Abrams told reporters after signing her qualifying papers that the issues she is focused on have not changed.
“When I ran for governor in 2018, I ran on a platform of opportunity for anyone who wanted to make sure we expand Medicaid, that we fully and permanently fund education, that we are building economic development plans that work for every Georgian,” she said. “Unfortunately, these are still the issues we need to focus on.”
Abrams mentioned Medicaid seven times in his brief remarks, pointing to the proposed expansion of health insurance coverage as the centerpiece of his and most other Georgia Democratic platforms in 2022.
Kemp is seeking an expansion that would cover fewer people, which President Joe Biden’s administration has refused to approve in part because it requires recipients to work or attend school.
“The meanness and callousness with which Governor Kemp approaches the Medicaid conversation should not be long-lasting and should be rejected by every Georgia who believes in the Georgian people,” Abrams said.
Kemp’s spokesman Tate Mitchell said “government mandates would govern the daily lives of Georgian families” if Abrams won in 2018 and promised Kemp would block his ambitions to be governor or president.
Other qualifiers on Tuesday included two state senators seeking statewide positions. Republican Butch Miller of Gainesville is running for lieutenant governor while Democrat Jen Jordan of Sandy Springs is running for attorney general.
Federally, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock has little-known Democratic primary opposition so far as he seeks to win a full six-year term. Among Republicans, football great Herschel Walker leads a group of contenders, including Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Navy veteran and banker Latham Saddler, entrepreneur Kelvin King and State Representative Josh Clark.
Seven other statewide offices, two Civil Service Commission positions, 14 congressional seats, 56 state senate seats and 180 state house seats are also on the ballot. .