Georgia 2018: Stacey Abrams sets a date for campaign kickoff

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. Kent Johnson/AJC photo.

Democrat Stacey Abrams appears to have set a date for her campaign kickoff.

Abrams, the state House Minority Leader, will host a family-friendly barbecue and “brief speaking program” that starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The location, though, is what really caught our eye: It’s not in vote-rich metro Atlanta, a slice of which she has long represented. It’s in Chehaw Park in Albany, a deep-blue pocket of rural southwest Georgia.

She’ll need to run up the tally in Democratic bastions like Albany to have any chance at flipping the state in 2018. About two-thirds of Dougherty County is African-American, and Abrams is aiming to be the nation’s first black female governor.

She’ll also need to perform well in those areas in next year’s primary to defeat state Rep. Stacey Evans, her lone Democratic opponent. Evans, who represents a portion of Smyrna, hopes her message has a particular appeal to voters in metro Atlanta’s fast-changing suburbs.

The Albany visit is also a likely unintentional reminder of some internal Democratic strife. It’s the backyard of state Rep. Winfred Dukes, a longtime legislator who challenged Abrams in November for her leadership role. In his unsuccessful bid, he lamented what he called a “lack of transparency, diversity and inclusion” in the caucus.

Abrams filed paperwork earlier this month to “explore” a gubernatorial bid, but there’s been no doubt that she intends to run for the office. Her campaign bills the event as a chance for her to “speak with community members about their vision for a brighter Georgia.”

The race to succeed a term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal is wide open, and Republicans are hoping to keep a grip on the office they’ve held since 2002.

Three Republicans are already in the contest: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sen. Hunter Hill. And several others, including state Sen. Michael Williams and GOP operative Nick Ayers, are considering a bid.

Read more on MyAJC: How Trump is shaking up the governor’s race

And: Georgia governor race: Who is running in 2018

Reader Comments 1

42 comments
Richard Cowan
Richard Cowan

You have that right ga will be destroyed just take a look at any other City ran by Democrats bad move

John Smith
John Smith

Georgia has no use for any democrat

Joan Bearden
Joan Bearden

No way , no more Democrats in office.....Don't won't our state to end up like California's.

Kris Starling
Kris Starling

Everyone knows you always start with the most loved Tax Spenders!

CharlesThomas Duke
CharlesThomas Duke

No chance of a liberal like her sinking her claws into the state of georgia

Rod Miller
Rod Miller

Tough sell outside I-285 ... And we have already had a liberal Governor, Shady Deal ... time for a conservative

Rod Miller
Rod Miller

Wow ... a few that come to mind are state budget has grown hugely, remain highest taxed state in Southeast, removed Confederate holidays from state calendar, most aggressively pro-homosexual governor in GA history, squishy on gun rights ... Dave can probably name some more areas ...

Deontez Wimbley
Deontez Wimbley

Ahhh... interesting. \U0001f914 So what are some things you look for in the governor?

Rod Miller
Rod Miller

There are a few non-RINOs out there Deontez. I would point you to Phil Bryant in Mississippi, Rick Scott in Florida, Greg Abbott in Texas.

Monte Poitevint
Monte Poitevint

Our very own grandstanding, do-nothing, worthless, commie governor? Wow!

Gerald Murray
Gerald Murray

Based on crooked Deals governorship I may for the first time at age 72 vote for a Democrat. Deal should be impeached and his revenue commissioner fired.

Gerald Murray
Gerald Murray

Sam Basye requiring people to prove they are due an income tax refund and then when they do holding release of that refund for a full 90 days for no reason at all except for the state to collect interest on that money stealing in effect from the tax payer. Deal is a rino crook and his revenue commissioner is incompetent, that's why.

Andrew Murphy
Andrew Murphy

Then replace him with a real conservative. You do realize a leftist governor will lead to Georgia turning into a bigger ghetto than it already is. Do you not remember the mayor of Baltimore giving the rioters time to destroy?

Donna King
Donna King

I read her bio. Impressive. I like smart, capable people.

A Ayodele Smith
A Ayodele Smith

And Republicans are delusional and project their dysfunction onto others. My candidate attacks a reporter = you must be violent. Makes perfect sense.

Steve Morris
Steve Morris

A Ayodele Smith Ben isn't a reporter he is a political hack pundit

Polly Walden
Polly Walden

An open attempt to get the women and black vote. Got news for you - people have awoken. Dems are not the answer, we'll see if the gop is, but if not we will look elsewhere

A Ayodele Smith
A Ayodele Smith

Lol, she's a black woman. She'd be an idiot not to pursue black and female voters.

Becky Fly
Becky Fly

She's starting in Albany so I'd say she's starting with the rural vote. Good for her. I hope all the candidates spend more time in rural Georgia. Lots of problems there that are going unaddressed.

Polly Walden
Polly Walden

If you are not pursuing the american vote - regardless of age, sex, or race you are part of the problem.

Polly Walden
Polly Walden

If you want problems addressed never vote for a dem

Polly Walden
Polly Walden

Boy talk about taking things out of context. The american vote, like the american, has nothing to do with race, which since you evidently believe it does kind of proves you do not understand what american means. Being american has to do with a love of reedom, with a desire to live free , to make your own way, to not have anyone tell you what you are entitled to. When you try to divide this country by going for the black vote, or womens vote, or any other groups vote - you are trying to divide the country and are part of the problem.

MistyR.Austin
MistyR.Austin

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