Stacey Abrams speaks at TEDWomen 2018: Showing Up,” Photo: Callie Giovanna / TED

August 13, 2019; Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Stacey Abrams will not be a presidential candidate in 2020. She won’t be running for the US Senate, either. Instead, as she announced at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades convention in Las Vegas this week, she will expand her voter protection efforts in 20 battleground states.

“My mission is to make sure that no one has to go through in 2020 what we had to go through in 2018,” Abrams says.

Observers speculate that she might have her eye on the Georgia governor’s office in 2022—an office she narrowly lost to Brian Kemp amid voting irregularities. Kemp was, at the time, the top election official in the state. Last November, we noted the tactics launched to oppose her candidacy: “stomach-turning, racist robocalls” and “obvious ploys by her sitting-secretary-of-state opponent to manipulate and suppress the vote.”

“My best value add in the primaries will be doing the work of fighting voter suppression,” notes Abrams. “We have to make certain that every eligible American can cast a ballot in 2020—and that work has to start now.”

Abrams has been clear she wants to run for high government office again, and she has retained a very high profile since her loss; as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, “Since the midterm, she’s nabbed the coveted assignment to rebut the State of the Union, landed prestigious speaking engagements before sold-out crowds and sold a spate of books that helped her repay debts.” She’s also been profiled just in the last week in Vogue and the New Yorker.

But right now, she is laser-focused on Fair Fight, the voter protection political action committee she is expanding.

“I am here to tell you I’m also not the governor of the state of Georgia—because you can fight hard, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to get the victory in the end,” said Abrams, whose remarks were interrupted by several ovations. “My job is to be the voice of those who don’t think they are heard.”—Ruth McCambridge