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Politics

Stacey Abrams will deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union

Former House Democratic Leader and Democratic nominee for Governor Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams, shown in Georgia on Nov. 6, 2018, election day. She has been tapped to deliver the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address.
(Melina Mara / Washington Post)
Washington Post

Democrats have tapped Georgia’s Stacey Abrams to deliver the response to President Trump’s State of the Union address, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced Tuesday.

Abrams narrowly lost the state’s race for governor in November after a lengthy dispute over blocked votes. She will address the nation in a prime-time speech shortly after Trump finishes his address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 5.

“She is just a great spokesperson. She’s an incredible leader. She has led the charge for voting rights, which is at the root of just about everything else .... I’m very excited that she’s agreed to be the respondent to the president,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters.

Abrams confirmed in a tweet Tuesday afternoon that she will deliver the response.

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“At a moment when our nation needs to hear from leaders who can unite for a common purpose, I am honored to be delivering the Democratic State of the Union response,” she said.

Abrams’ political future is the source of much speculation. Earlier this month, she met in Washington with Schumer, who is seeking candidates to run against Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in 2020.

Abrams is the first black woman to win a major party nomination for governor. While she fell short in her bid against Republican Brian Kemp, she received more votes than any Democrat who has run statewide in Georgia, prompting some to suggest she should be in the presidential or vice presidential mix.

“I’m interested in everything,” Abrams told the Washington Post earlier this month when asked about the possibility of another run for office. “What I am trying to do is decide what’s the right job, am I the right person and is this the right time.”

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She said she has given herself until the end of March to make a decision.

Abrams has refused to concede defeat in the governor’s race and has since announced a new voting rights organization, Fair Fight Georgia, that has filed a federal lawsuit against Georgia elections officials for allegedly mismanaging the 2018 election. State officials have until the end of the month to respond to the suit.

Sonmez and Williams write for the Washington Post.


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