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stacey abrams

Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams takes the stage to declare victory in the primary during an election night event on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

'Historic Victory for Entire Progressive Movement' as Stacey Abrams Wins Georgia Primary

"Make no mistake—it's powerful women like her who are leading the charge in 2018. It's up to us to speak out, step up, and elect them this November."

Jessica Corbett

Former Georgia state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams—who has been seen as a progressive challenger to her opponent, former state Rep. Stacey Evans—won a nationally watched Democratic primary race on Tuesday, securing an opportunity to become the nation's first black female governor.

"We are writing the next chapter of Georgia's future, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard, and no one is uninspired. We are writing a history of a Georgia where we prosper together," Abrams said in a victory speech that touched on policies to help working Americans, increase access to childcare, transition to renewable energy, improve public education, and reform the state's prison system.

Progressives celebrated her primary win in a flood of congratulatory tweets:

The tax attorney and romance novelist turned politician was raised in Mississippi until her family moved to Atlanta when she was in high school. She earned a bachelor's degree from Spelman College, a master's degree from the University of Texas, and law degree from Yale University. Before serving as the top Democrat in the statehouse, she was Atlanta's deputy city attorney.

Abrams was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the group spun out of his 2016 presidential race, Our Revolution. She has also received support from U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.); Georgia State AFL-CIO and other labor organizations; NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and other reproductive rights advocates; the Georgia Association of Educators; the Georgia Working Families Party; and LGBTQ, gun control, and immigrant rights advocacy groups.

Many of her backers celebrated her win while also vowing to continue working toward the November race.

Although there has been excitement surrounding Abrams' campaign, it has not come without controvery. As the Associated Press reports, her campaign "was plagued by allegations of ethics violations, including that she reimbursed herself money from campaign accounts without record and that she used campaign resources to promote book sales from which she personally profited. She has denied the allegations."

On the Republican side, the AP noted, "the field was all white men" with experience in politics and business. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp bested three other opponents, and the official GOP nominee will be selected in a runoff scheduled for July 24.

Emphasizing the need for "all hands on deck" until Abrams' race in November, Kumar Rao, a senior staff attorney focusing on racial justice at the Center for Popular Democracy, pointed out that she "will face an anti-immigrant, Trump apologist/NRA gun fiend, regardless of who wins the Republican primary."

Journalist and activist Shaun King noted how Abrams has been backed by supporters of Sanders and his 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, who has also endorsed the candidate. "I'm actually not sure if more Bernie & Hillary surrogates have ever lined up behind a single candidate post 2016 like we all just did for Stacey Abrams," King tweeted. "She can win this thing."

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