Stacey Abrams, a Democrat from Georgia, has announced that she will not be running for a seat on the Senate in 2020. Her announcement has put a damper on the Democrats hopes of a Senate majority. The announcement also renews the speculation about her future in politics, considering that her unsuccessful run for governor put her fame on a national level.
Abrams, who is 45 years old, was only 60,000 votes away from being the first black woman elected for governor in U.S. history. According to The Associated Press, Abrams hasn’t ruled out announcing her bid for the presidency, even though she has admitted that she isn’t in any kind of rush to join a field that already has 20 candidates.
After Abrams told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer about her plans, she said in an interview: “I’m going to continue to watch how the national conversation around the presidency unfolds. I’m not taking myself out of that conversation, but I’m not ready to make a determination, and I don’t think one is necessary at this moment.”
Abrams continued by saying that she was “deeply gratified” to Schumer for considering her to run for the Senate seat and giving her plenty of time to come to a decision. Taking a seat in the Senate, said Abrams, is “an extraordinarily persuasive idea” and a “critical role” but “not the role that I want to play.”
Currently, Abrams has said that her emphasis is being put on two advocacy groups. One of the groups is focused on voting rights, while the other is focused on educating residents for the 2020 census, which she helped launch after she lost to Brian Kemp in November. Abrams has also said that she will consider a rematch against Kemp in 2022.
On Monday, Abrams met Schumer in Washington, putting an end to months of courting by Schumer and leaving him to find a new plan to unravel the Republicans advantage in the Senate. “He was extraordinarily gracious,” said Abrams about their meeting.
Georgia is one of a handful of states where Democrats need a complete upset in order to have hopes for a new majority. Schumer has been vocal about his belief that Abrams would have been the best chance for Sen. David Perdue to be defeated. In just his first term, Perdue has become one of Trump’s most loyal allies on Capitol Hill.
Schumer is also setting his eyes on Montana and Texas for possible victories, but like with Abrams, he hasn’t landed headliner candidates. The Democrats in Washington want Gov. Steve Bullock to face Republican Sen. Steve Daines, but Bullock is looking to run in the presidential election, instead. In Texas, Rep. Beto O’Rourke is choosing to run for president instead of attempting to run for a seat on the Senate again, which he lost to Ted Cruz in 2018. Democrats from Texas might just turn Rep. Joaquin Castro as their best bet to Sen. John Cornyn out of office.
Democrats had hopes that Abrams’ candidacy would fuel an incredible turnout among young nonwhite voters. In 2016, Trump won Georgia by 5 percentage points but fell short of a majority. Schumer began his recruiting effort in Georgia by asking Abrams to deliver the Democrats’ response to President Trump’s State of the Union address in February, which made her the first black woman to give an opposition response.
When speaking about her consideration for Senate, Abrams said: “I began with skepticism.” She also said that she could envision “the best day and the worst day” in a chamber known for its bitter bipartisanship and slow pace. “But for me it was what do I do every day, and is this the role I want to play for six years? Is this the role I want to play for 12 years or 18 years? Because this is a job, and you focus on not the title but the job itself and the job that has to be done.”