SAN FRANCISCO ― Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is still angry about her narrow election loss in November — but she’s channeling that anger into a new fight for voting rights.
“I was angry and I was sad. My heart was broken. And I’m still angry,” Abrams said Friday, referring to the election, speaking before a crowd of hundreds at the Lesbians Who Tech summit in San Francisco’s historic, queer neighborhood of the Castro. The event was focused on increasing the visibility of LGBTQ people in tech fields.
In November, Abrams narrowly lost her race for Georgia governor to then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) in an election mired in a voter suppression controversy.
“I’m like Bruce Banner: I’m always angry right now,” Abrams joked, referring to the superhero character the Hulk. “I’m angry and sad, but I don’t know how to be still anymore. I believe we can fix what is broken.”
“I know we can demand a fair fight,” she added, saying that since the election she had started the group Fair Fight Georgia, which works to promote fair elections and voter participation.
The group’s mission echoes much of her previous work on voting rights. Abrams founded the New Georgia Project in 2014, an organization that has registered over 300,000 black people to vote in the state.
“Voter suppression, it works by convincing people in practice that they don’t count,” Abrams said Friday. “It is designed to silence those voices, say that there are people that do not count.”
“Voter suppression happens in every election, in every state. I need you all to talk about voter suppression all the time,” she added. “We need to talk about voter suppression the way we talk about the Kardashians… with such insistence that people have to respond.”
Earlier this year, Abrams delivered the Democratic response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. Many have speculated that Abrams will enter the crowded Democratic field for the 2020 presidential race. She’s said she will make a decision by the end of March.
“I can’t go back and win 2018, but I can win 2020 and 2022,” Abrams said at Friday’s event while discussing her work on voting rights.
As the crowd broke into cheers, she laughed and added: “That was not an announcement.”