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  • Abrams aims to end the party drought. A Democrat has not been elected governor of Georgia since 2003.

    Abrams aims to end the party drought. A Democrat has not been elected governor of Georgia since 2003. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 23 May 2018

Adams is the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and first African-American to lead Georgia's House of Representatives.

Democratic voters in the traditionally 'red state' of Georgia has, for the first time, nominated a black woman to run for governor.

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If successful, ex-lawmaker and author Stacey Abrams – who managed to pull off a stunning victory in Georgia’s Democratic primary – would also become the United States' first African-American woman mayor as well as the first woman and the first person from an ethnic minority to be governor of the state.

“Stacey Abrams’ victory tonight is an incredibly important win for the grassroots movement that rose up behind her in this primary and a Democratic Party that is, in many ways, still searching for a way forward after the crushing losses of 2016 and the outdated, Republican-lite playbook that caused them,” Jim Dean, the chair of Democracy for America, remarked.

A Democrat has not been elected governor of Georgia since 2003.

“We eagerly backed Stacey Abrams because she was committed to running a race that would definitively prove that when Democrats run a bold, progressive, people-powered campaign around our shared values, we can expand the electorate, restore faith in our democracy, and win,” Dean added.

Abrams is not new to 'firsts.' She was the:

  • First African-American female valedictorian of her high school.
  • First woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly.
  • First African-American to lead Georgia's House of Representatives.

Abrams managed to rally the elusive African-American vote as well as mobilized Democrats, who do not typically show up at the polls in the state. The former state House minority leader and progressive has earned major support, in the party, from ex-presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

"A Yale-educated attorney, Abrams is the only candidate with bold new plans to ensure Georgians have access to good jobs, quality public schools, affordable child care and higher education," Clinton has previously stated about the candidate.

History was also made in the Democratic runoff for governor in Texas with former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez becoming the first Hispanic woman and first openly gay person to win a major party’s gubernatorial nomination in that state.

Texas has not elected a Democrat as governor since 1990.

The Democrats will need to convert some 23 seats to take control of the House of Representatives, in November.

The United States currently has six only female governors, including two Democrats and four Republicans across Alabama, Iowa, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon and Rhode Island.

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