Is the Nation Ready for its First Black Woman Governor?

Stacey Abrams speaking at the Democratic National Convention

The Washington Post  describes Stacey Abrams as "a Yale-trained lawyer and business executive who writes romance novels on the side." Perhaps that definition will need to be expounded pending the results of Georgia's upcoming gubernatorial election. There is a possibility that we could be referring to Stacey Abrams as that state's first black governor and the nation's first black woman governor. 

Abrams, the 43-year-old House minority leader is seen as a rising star and one of the future leaders of the Democratic Party. Although she enters the race as the favorite for the nomination, she also faces an uphill battle to the governor's mansion, and a victory would be a huge win for Democrats who haven't won a statewide office in Georgia since 2006. 

Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams Honored
 by Caroline Kennedy for Political Leadership

Abrams is known for her willingness to work with Republicans. "Sometimes fighting for Georgians means working with the other side," she says. "I’m willing to risk my leadership to make certain that Georgians get what they need from their government." This willingness should serve her well in the predominantly red state.

She is not, however, the only woman Democrat eyeing the governor's mansion: Rep. Stacey Evans, who is white, is also in the running to replace term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal. Both women have similar rags-to-riches backstories but Abrams seems to embody the spirit of Georgia's beloved Ray Charles as she continues to embrace the state that may or may not be quite ready to embrace her.

"Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

I said Georgia, oh Georgia
No peace I find
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind"

"Georgia is ready for a Democratic governor. My success demonstrates that difference doesn’t have to be a barrier," Abrams told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Southern politicians have to reject a notion that difference is a barrier and that we can’t all be committed to
progress and equality."


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