NY Times: Stacey Abrams Failed to Connect With Black, Brown Communities (Newsmax)
By Solange Reyner | Friday, 11 November 2022 05:55 PM EST
Stacey Abrams' second bid for governor of Georgia failed because she neglected the Black and brown communities in the state, instead focusing more on her national political ambitions, community leaders, campaign aides, state lawmakers and other Abrams allies told The New York Times.
Abrams, 48, lost decisively to incumbent Brian Kemp, a Republican, 53.4% to 45.8%, in Tuesday's midterm elections. Abrams lost by nearly 300,000 votes this time around compared with 54,000 votes in 2018 against Kemp.
Abrams was in the national spotlight after that loss four years ago — she delivered the Democratic Party's response to then-President Donald Trump's State of the Union address and told the hosts of ABC's "The View" that she'd like to be president one day.
She also wrote a book about voter suppression, "Our Time is Now," a New York Times bestseller. Her 2021 book tour did not include stops in Georgia.
She campaigned with Oprah Winfrey and Kerry Washington leading up to the midterms and made regular appearances on MSNBC and Fox News.
But she trailed Kemp the entire time and didn't spend much personal time with Georgians, according to the Times. Plus, her campaign was insular and reluctant to take advice, the report said.
"She shot herself in the foot multiple times," conservative radio host Martha Zoller told the Times. "And the question was asked in many circles: If you really believe this about Georgia, why would you want to be governor?"
David Brand, a veteran Atlanta Democrat strategist, told the Times he offered Abrams' campaign help connecting to local Black business owners and civic organizations. The gatherings were virtual and didn't happen often.
"She's having Zoom meetings with Black businesspeople," Brand said. "Brian Kemp's having cocktails with them."
Derrick Jackson, an Atlanta-area state representative, said he told Abrams' campaign that it needed to engage more with Black fraternities and sororities. He invited her to several gatherings, but she never attended.
"Stacey must own some of this," said Jackson, the vice chairman of the state legislative Black Caucus. "If you're running a statewide race, if you venture off and you nationalize it, then that's problematic."
Jason Carter, a former colleague in the Georgia Legislature and 2014 Democratic Party nominee for governor, told the Times Abrams "spent an enormous amount of time being a national figure on really crucially important issues."
"That national profile is really important and has enormous value, but it also has consequences."