Abrams makes history with nomination; other women do well, too

Former state legislator and Minority Leader Stacey Abrams made history May 22 when she became the Democratic nominee to run for governor of Georgia.

Abrams, an attorney and romance novelist, is the first woman to win a gubernatorial nomination in the state. She nabbed the nomination by winning 76.43 percent of the votes in the two-woman race with Stacey Evans.

Abrams makes history as Democratic gubernatorial candidate

Stacey Abrams

In the Nov. 6 general election, Abrams will face the winner of the July 24 Republican runoff, Casey Cagle or Brian Kemp. If she wins, she will be the first black governor of Georgia, the state’s first female governor, and the first black female governor of any state in U.S. history.

Abrams, 44, says she is writing the next chapter of Georgia history, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard and no one is uninspired.

“I know for the journey ahead, we need every voice in our party and every independent thinker in the state,” she said during her victory speech election night.

Abrams, who served a decade in the state House, says she is running for governor because too many families and individuals – people who have the wrong skin color, believe the wrong faith, love the wrong person, or live in the wrong ZIP code – have been left behind despite doing everything right.

“I’m coming for the Georgians who have done well but don’t believe that they will do any better and that their children will probably do worse,” Abrams said. “I want every child in Georgia to believe it is their God-given right to have a higher education and pursue anything they want. They have to have a state that believes in that from cradle to career.”

In other statewide races, Sarah Riggs Amico won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor with 55.28 percent of the vote, and will face Republican runoff winner David Shaffer or Geoff Duncan.

John Barrow took the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State with 51.51 percent of the votes. He will face the winner of the Republican runoff, Brad Raffensperger or David Belle Isle. 

Janice Laws took the nomination for Commissioner of Insurance with 62.84 percent of the votes and will face Republican primary winner Jim Beck, who got 59.68 percent of the votes. Laws, who hails from Jamaica, W.I., is the first African-American woman to win a statewide nomination for insurance commissioner.

Incumbent state School Superintendent Richard Woods held onto the Republican nomination with 60.13 percent of the votes in his two-man primary with John Barge. In November, he will face the winner of the Democratic runoff, Ortha E. Thornton Jr. or Sid Chapman. In the three-man race for the Democratic nomination, Thornton emerged with 43.86 percent of the votes and Chapman 36.48 percent.

For Commissioner of Labor, Richard Keatley took the Democratic nomination with 51.53 percent of the votes. In November, he will face incumbent Republican Mark Butler, who was unopposed in the primary.

Lindy Miller took the Democratic nomination for Public Service Commission District 3 with 65.46 percent of the votes. She will run against incumbent Chuck Eaton, who was unopposed in the Republican primary.

For the Public Service Commission District 5 race, Dawn Randolph won the Democratic nomination with 78.58 percent of the vote. She will face incumbent Tricia Pridemore, who won the two-man Republican primary with 53.03 percent of the vote.