The Omni Hotel in Atlanta played host to Democrats from across Georgia on Saturday. Polls open in just over two months and the Georgia Democratic Party State Convention offered candidates and activists the chance to pump each other up as the heat of campaign season continues. The meeting is a heavy planning session for the party but the highlights were the speeches from candidates and various luminaries in the afternoon.
Everyone from Sanford Bishop to Shirley Franklin to Stacey Abrams took a turn at the podium to talk about the importance of Democrats having a good showing in the fall. Democrats are increasingly talking about the coming #BlueWave and Georgia Democrats are hoping that tide comes all the way to the Peach State.
As expected, the highlight of the day was gubernatorial candidate Abrams’ speech in the afternoon. Abrams hit on some familiar themes in her speech. Abrams noted her trip last week to south Georgia and connected it to the running theme of other parts of the state being left behind the metropolis of Atlanta. “I had the same conversations that I had up in Chatsworth, down in Pooler, in Henry County, Hinesville and Kirkwood. This magnificent state is hungry for opportunity no matter where we live,” said Abrams. “We are eager for the ability to work for the possibility of more.”
“Under Democratic leadership, every single Georgian will thrive. But most importantly, as Georgia Democrats we know that we thrive together,” said Abrams. “It’s not just Democrats who know this, Georgians across the political spectrum in every county of the state, from country homes to town homes to condos, they know it is time for a new brand of leadership in Georgia.”
Abrams never mentioned her opponent Brian Kemp by name but criticized Republicans frequently for their lack of compassion and inclusion. She was also not shy about mentioning faith – she is the daughter of two Methodist ministers – and that is likely to continue leading up to November.
She also stressed her commitment to being the public education governor. Several candidates have ran on education agendas but Abrams is going to take on the issue of private and charter schools and their impact on public schools. “With our kids and our educators being told to do more and more with less and less, I intend to work with our newly added legislators and our seasoned leaders in the House and the Senate to reverse the terrible drain of $100 million going to private schools so we can invest in our constitutional responsibilities.”
Abrams released a new ad on Sunday, titled “Foundation”, which talks about her roots growing up in Mississippi and Georgia. It touches on her family, her time as Minority Leader in the legislature and now her campaign for governor. It’s a three minute ad so won’t likely make it on to television stations near you. The full ad is designed more for online viewing – particularly social media or fundraising related. The Daily Kos and other democratic sites across the country will post it and the funds will continue to add up.
First black woman governor is a pretty powerful narrative and it is going to get a lot of Democrats very excited to open their wallets. Democrats are going to pour a lot of money into Georgia – it is an alluring possible get for Democrats in a likely strong year for them. Then again, so was the 6th district, and the last governor race. And that senate race…