Stacey Abrams decision not to run for the United States Senate in 2020 could have a major ripple effect on Georgia’s political future.
First and foremost, it may be good news for the incumbent, Republican Senator David Perdue. WSB Political Analyst Bill Crane said, “There are probably a lot of Georgia Republicans smiling, with David Perdue possibly having the biggest toothiest grin.” He said Perdue “would have faced a substantial challenge if Stacey Abrams had gotten into the race.”
Abrams is considered by some as a rising star in the Democratic party. She narrowly lost the election to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp last year, and she delivered the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address.
When asked what would have made Abrams a difficult opponent for Perdue Crane said, “Her name recognition, and though we don’t know how lasting it will be, the passion she inspires among her voters.” He said, “Ms. Abrams has an organization, financing and quite a list in place already to make that challenge more formidable.”
With Abrams out of the Senate race, it opens the door for other Democrats considering a run but who have been waiting to see what Abrams decided.
A likely candidate is former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who said she will make a formal announcement on Wednesday.
Crane said others who may get into the race include former Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, who is currently CEO of Dekalb County and U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop and David Scott.
No matter who challenges Perdue Crane said, “It is difficult to oust sitting U.S. Senators regardless of their party.”
As for what’s next for Abrams, she may still be weighing a run for president or vice-president, but Crane said, “She might be better suited to a rematch against Governor Kemp in 2022.”