The Life of Stacey Abrams

She nearly flipped Georgia blue when she ran for governor. Now Stacey Abrams continues her fight against voter suppression and says she’d be open to being a vice presidential nominee. This is her story.

Leading the fight against voter suppression

She was born in 1973 in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in Southern Mississippi. Her mother was a librarian and her father a shipyard worker. Her parents then became Methodist ministers, and the family moved to Atlanta. In 1992, she attended a state flag burning protest on the steps of the Georgia Capitol. At the time, Georgia's flag incorporated the Confederate battle flag. In 2003, the Confederate symbol was fully removed from the design. In 1993, Stacy Abrams spoke in the 30th anniversary of the March on Washington.

By 26, she had received degrees from Spelman College, the University of Texas and Yale Law School. Abrams then began working as a tax attorney. At 29, she was appointed the deputy city attorney for Atlanta. At 33, she was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. In 2011, at 38, she assumed the minority leadership position and became the first black woman to lead either party there. In 2013, she created the New Georgia Project, to help register voters of color.

She has also published romance suspense novels under the name Selena Montgomery. At 44, she launched her campaign for Georgia's governorship. During her bid, she spoke on voter suppression. She won the Democratic nomination — as the first black woman from a major party to run for governor in Georgia. She quickly won a number of high-profile endorsements. Soon her financial disclosures were made public: She owed $200,000 in student loan and credit card debt. Her personal finances became an easy target for Republicans. She explained she'd paid her family’s taxes while her father was ill. Abrams lost the 2018 election by 2 points — but refused to concede in a race marred by voter suppression.

After the election, she launched the organization Fair Fight Georgia to combat voter suppression. In February 2019, she became the first black woman and the first non-office holding person to deliver a State of the Union rebuttal. She said she was still open to all options regarding her political future. She just announced she won’t run for a Senate seat.