We get it. Stacey Abrams would be great at running literally anything: your district, the state of Georgia, your state, the entirety of the United States, all the habitable sections of planet earth, and Jupiter, Mars and Mercury on top of that.
So when news broke today that Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, a Republican, would resign his position at this end of this year because of his ongoing struggles with Parkinson’s disease, Abrams fans hoped the former Georgia state rep would consider running for the open seat in 2020.
Abrams responded fairly quickly to the blooming speculation: Aht-aht. No, ma’am.
In a tweet sent out Wednesday morning, Abrams said her thoughts were with Isakson and his family, but she would continue her work protecting voting rights across the country ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
“While she will not be a candidate herself, she is committed to helping Democratic candidates win both Senate races next year,” her spokesman’s statement read.
That leaves two open Senate seats in Georgia, come 2020. With the Peach State becoming a key battleground state in recent years, Democrats will be looking to flip at least one of those seats blue.
And as Abrams has said repeatedly this year, she feels her strongest contribution will be in ensuring those seats can be won fairly and democratically.
“I’ve just come to the decision that my best value add, the strongest contribution I can give to this primary, would be to make sure our nominee is coming into an environment where there’s strong voter protections in place,” she told the New York Times earlier this month.
In the same interview, Abrams said she would be “honored to be considered [for vice president] by any nominee,” and was “[pleased] with the direction” of the candidates.
“I asked two things with all the presidential nominees I’ve met with,” she said. “One is that they make voter suppression their number one issue. And two, that they make Georgia a top priority because it is a battleground state.”
Voter suppression has been a pet cause for Abrams since her campaign for Georgia’s governorship in 2018 ended with a controversial loss to then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
Kemp refused to recuse himself from his role as the state’s chief election officer. Between 2012 and 2018, Kemp struck nearly 1.4 million voters from Georgia’s rolls, “for inane reasons such as missing hyphens, rumors that voters have moved and even misspelled street names,” wrote The Root’s Michael Harriot.
The news that Abrams won’t be running for a Senate seat will certainly disappoint some Georgians because she is, without a doubt, a transformational candidate. But for the next two years, Abrams has the opportunity to effect change on a national scale. Abrams lost her bid for the governorship on account of Kemp’s successful suppression efforts. But as she has made clear this year, that doesn’t mean other candidates should meet a similar fate come 2020, especially in battleground states like Georgia.
“My responsibility is to focus on the primary,” Abrams told the Times. “And that means using the primary as an opportunity to build the apparatus to fight voter suppression.”