Stacey Abrams kicks off nationwide tour ahead of 2022 mid-sessions

Stacey Abrams kicked off an ambitious national tour this week that will span months and swing many states ahead of the 2022 midterms – and potentially elevate her position within the Democratic Party in the process.

Driving the news: Abrams kicked off the tour on Tuesday in San Antonio, where she told a local reporter “unequivocally, yes” that she would like to run for president one day. She was in Milwaukee on Wednesday night and will appear in Detroit on Thursday.

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The big question: The voting rights activist and former Georgia state lawmaker, once considered for President Biden’s running mate, is gearing up for a rematch next year against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp – or something something bigger?

  • This week, she sent a fundraising email for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in his competitive run for governor of Virginia.

  • Last week, she approved the Senate Democrats’ free voting bill, blessing Senator Joe Manchin’s (DW.Va.) compromise.

  • And while Abrams has yet to get his endorsement in an overcrowded Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin, his moderator for Wednesday’s event in Milwaukee is Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is running.

How it works: Abrams has scheduled 12 stops in 10 states – Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina – until November 20.

  • She announced his tour in August on Twitter, although it has received little national attention to date and modest early coverage from local journalists.

  • These are paid events, with each location determining the cost of participation and some offering a meet-up option – although organizers have said Abrams is not taking the money. Profits go directly to the local theaters that host them and the arts organizations they support.

  • Moderators lead the conversation with Abrams around his work with voting rights, politics and social justice, as well as aspects of his personal life. The Abrams team invites local media, elected officials and artists to be moderators.

  • Country singer Trisha Yearwood will be the moderator in Nashville. Writer Melissa Harris-Perry will be moderator in North Carolina.

The backdrop: Abrams gained national recognition thanks to his tighter-than-expected 2018 governorship fight. She was praised for challenging Kemp, a Republican, in the long-red Georgia.

  • Since then, Abrams has built an audience around his voting rights activism and participation efforts.

  • She achieved national fame and a huge rating with Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) when she helped Democrats overthrow her state and take control of the Presidency and Senate. .

  • Through her work with Fair Fight, she helped register at least 800,000 Georgian voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

What they say : Aaron Zimmerman, vice president of programming at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, which is orchestrating the tour, told Axios it took almost a year to establish the final schedule.

  • Tour stops include political hotbeds, as well as purple or blue areas.

  • “This is an opportunity for people to get to know Stacey in her multitudes,” said Michael Holloman, director of communications for Abrams. “We bring these disparate parts of her identity together and allow people to see her more fully.”

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