Kerri Battles

Yale graduate Stacey Abrams LAW ’99 on Tuesday became the first black woman to be nominated for governor by a major party in the history of the United States.

Georgia Democrats voted for Abrams to run in November’s general election, making her the first African American of either gender to be nominated for the highest statewide office in Georgia. Depending on the outcome of a Republican runoff vote in July, Abrams will face either Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle or Secretary of State Brian Kemp in the general.

Abrams has been hailed as one of a new wave of Democratic politicians who have harnessed dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump in the runup to this year’s midterm elections.

But Georgia has never had a female governor, and Democrats have long struggled for a foothold in the staunchly conservative state. Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 lost Georgia to Trump in the 2016 election by five percentage points. In her victory speech on Tuesday, Abrams acknowledged that major obstacles lie ahead.

“We have a tough race to come, and sometimes we can find it easy to forget about the solid ground beneath our feet,” Abrams said. “But we must remember that we are in the state where the red clay gives life to generations of dreamers.”

Abrams’ press team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Britton O’Daly |

Correction, May 30: A previous version of this article described Casey Cagle as the lieutenant governor of Alabama. In fact, he holds that position in Georgia.