Former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton endorsed Stacey Abrams on the eve of the primary vote, making her the latest in a string of high-profile national figures to back her bid to be the nation’s first black female governor.
Clinton recorded a robo-call that described Abrams, a former state House minority leader, as “the only candidate with bold new plans to ensure that Georgians have access to good jobs, quality public schools, affordable childcare and higher education.”
Abrams faces former state Rep. Stacey Evans in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, and both claim they are the most ardent progressives - a sharp shift from the party’s conventional strategy.
Abrams has the support of the lion’s share of national groups and potential 2020 presidential candidates, including U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders. Evans is relying on lower-key endorsements and an argument that Abrams betrayed the party on the HOPE scholarship on other party priorities.
Clinton easily defeated Sanders in Georgia in the 2016 presidential primary, carrying metro Atlanta by a wide margin of the vote. But she lost to Republican Donald Trump by about five percentage points, despite flipping Cobb and Gwinnett counties for the first time in decades.
Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, was the last Democrat to carry the state in 1992. He has not weighed in on the race, but one of his top advisers, Paul Begala, has endorsed Evans.
In the robo-call, Clinton touts Abrams’ platform for pushing for voting rights expansions, new restrictions on firearms and Medicaid expansion.
“That’s Abrams – with an A – to ensure that every Georgia family has the freedom and opportunity to thrive,” said Clinton.
Read more: Understanding Georgia’s race for governor