Georgia Democrats criticized former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams following her defeat to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, arguing her national political ambitions derailed her state-level campaign, The New York Times reported.
Abrams was catapulted to national fame during her failed 2018 gubernatorial campaign, resulting in speculation about a presidential run as well as an enormous influx of cash from out-of-state donors for her 2022 race. Her open pursuit of national office and her frequent media appearances ultimately alienated Georgia voters and weakened her chance at becoming governor, her allies told the NYT; Abrams lost her 2022 race by about nine points, a far larger margin than in 2018.
“Stacey must own some of this,” Democratic Georgia state Rep. Derrick Jackson told the outlet. “If you’re running a statewide race, if you venture off and you nationalize it, then that’s problematic.” (RELATED: Stacey Abrams Uses Concession Speech To Compare Her Loss To The Religious Persecution Of Saint Paul)
One Democratic strategist said Abrams wasn’t doing enough to build relationships with black community leaders in Georgia, and that she may have been held back by her adherence to certain COVID-19 precautions.
“She’s having Zoom meetings with Black businesspeople,” Atlanta-based strategist David Brand said. “Brian Kemp’s having cocktails with them.”
Abrams became a star of the Democratic party in 2018; she delivered Democrats’ response to former President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address, she was showered in media attention as numerous commentators speculated about her running for national office, she publicly lobbied to be then-candidate Joe Biden’s running mate and she announced her presidential ambitions on ABC’s “The View” in 2020.
The national attention prompted a fundraising windfall, and Abrams raised at least $131 million, according to the NYT. Her campaign burned through it rapidly, spending at least $2.2 million a week on television ads for more than a month.
Abrams also drew criticism over her negative portrayal of the state during national media appearances; she called Georgia “the worst state in the country to live” and drew attention to its low quality of life rankings in May, according to the NYT.
“She shot herself in the foot multiple times. And the question was asked in many circles: If you really believe this about Georgia, why would you want to be governor?” asked Martha Zoller, a conservative radio host and former aide to Republican Georgia Gov. Kemp, according to the NYT.
Abrams did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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