Political Insider

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Fourteen current, former lawmakers step out for Stacey Evans


Days after being shouted down by liberal protestors shouting “support black women,” state Rep. Stacey Evans, a Democratic candidate for governor, released an endorsement list of 14 current and former state lawmakers.

Many are members of the Legislative Black Caucus, and/or members of the House Democratic Caucus that was once led by state Rep. Stacey Abrams, also a candidate for governor.

Here’s the list:

-- Former state Rep. Virgil Fludd of Tyrone, who served as the House Democratic Caucus chairman. He is now a senior advisor at Dentons;

-- State Rep. Erica Thomas of Austell, who is vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus;

-- State Rep. Roger Bruce of Atlanta;

-- State Rep. “Coach” Williams of Avondale Estates;

-- State Rep. Keisha Waites of Atlanta;

-- Former state Rep. LaDawn Blackett Jones of Atlanta;

-- Former state Rep. Ronnie Mabra of Fayetteville;

-- State Rep. Shelia Jones of Atlanta;

-- State Rep. Michael Smith of Marietta;

-- State Rep. David Dreyer of Atlanta;

-- State Rep. Dar'Shun Kendrick of Lithonia;

-- State Rep. Spencer Frye of Athens;

-- State Sen. Michael Rhett of Marietta;

-- State Sen. Elena Parent of Atlanta.

Though still in its early stages, the Democratic contest has quickly underlined tensions within the biracial coalition. Abrams, who is African-American, has shunned traditional Democratic strategy, and is attempting to win the nomination with an alliance of more liberal Democrats and black voters – black women, in particular. The strategy flared at the NetRoots Network conference in downtown Atlanta, where both Abrams and Evans spoke. Evans speech was drowned out by protestors.

But Abrams has also had her setbacks. Late last month, she saw the House Democratic Caucus reject state Rep. Carolyn Hugley of Columbus, an Abrams ally, as her successor.

This morning, Abrams called for the removal of the carving of Confederate leaders from the face of Stone Mountain, a move likely to draw the ire of African-American leaders in the state Capitol who are working with Gov. Nathan Deal to erect a statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the grounds. A dedication is scheduled for Aug. 28.


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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.