Schumer meets with Stacey Abrams about possible Senate bid for Georgia seat
Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat who narrowly lost her race for governor in 2018, met Friday with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is trying to recruit her to run for the Senate next year, according to two sources with knowledge of the meeting.
Georgia has been a reliably Republican state, but shifting demographics there have convinced Democrats that they have a chance of winning a Senate seat. Schumer sees the seat, currently held by first-term Republican Sen. David Perdue, as a prime opportunity if Abrams were the Democratic candidate.
Schumer, D-N.Y., and Abrams met in New York City, according to the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss the session.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Abrams’ spokeswoman declined to comment.
The meeting, at least the second between Schumer and Abrams, came as rumors swirled this week that former Vice President Joe Biden was considering asking Abrams to be his running mate and would announce their ticket when he declared his candidacy for president, or soon after.
No one close to Abrams or Biden would confirm or deny those reports, but a source with knowledge of their discussion said the former vice president did not ask Abrams to join him on a presidential ticket. The two talked generally about their respective plans.
“Abrams continues to keep all options on the table for 2020 and beyond. She has met with over half a dozen presidential contenders to discuss their commitment to voting rights and to investing in Georgia,” Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams’ former campaign manager said.
Then Friday on Twitter Groh-Wargo batted back the suggestion that talks between the two were ongoing.
“There was one meeting. No other meetings. Or calls,” she tweeted.
Abrams has said that she would make up her mind about whether to run for the Senate seat by early April, so that other Georgia politicians would have time to organize. Other potential Democratic challengers include Jon Ossoff, who lost a close, expensive special election in 2017 for a suburban Atlanta House seat once been held by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R; and Teresa Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, Georgia, who is seen as a rising star in the state.
Abrams rose to national prominence as the nation’s first African American woman to run on a major ticket for governor. Both Oprah Winfrey and former president Barack Obama campaigned for her in Georgia. Abrams lost to Republican Brian Kemp in one of the closest races in state history, an outcome it took days to finalize.
After her narrow defeat, Schumer selected Abrams to give the Democratic Party’s rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in February.
Abrams, who received 25 percent of the white vote in Georgia, which is greater than Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton received in the state in 2016, has accused Republicans in the state of suppressing minority votes to tip the race in their favor. Since then, Abrams has made voting rights her passion project.
“This is the next battle for our democracy,” she said, during her Trump speech rebuttal, “one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country.”