- The Washington Times - Monday, September 2, 2019

Stacey Abrams took another pass at a chance to run for office last week and reiterated her plans to make herself felt as an activist next year, vowing to fight what she sees as voter suppression in the states.

Yet Ms. Abrams, a Democrat who lost her bid for Georgia governor last year but continues to insist the election was “stolen,” has been markedly cagey about what that means, exactly.

In August she announced Fair Fight 2020, saying she expected to play a role in pushing for better voter access in 20 states.

“I’m not going to name them; I’ll get in trouble,” she said, before giving some hints.

“We’re targeting all of the battleground presidential states and we include in that battleground Georgia, Arizona, Texas,” she said. “We’re also looking at Senate races, so we’re in Alabama. We know that there are statewide races happening this year in Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana, so we’re there.”

That was news to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat seeking reelection, whose campaign says it has neither spoken with nor coordinated with Ms. Abrams or Fair Fight.

Her group has, though, reached out to the Louisiana Democratic Party with an offer of “assistance with regards to voter protection efforts of the Louisiana Democratic Party,” said Stephen Handwerk, the state party’s executive director.

“The Louisiana Democratic Party has long run programs that assist eligible voters to exercise their franchise free from impediments. We are grateful for the assistance from Fair Fight and their industry leading experts,” he told The Washington Times.

Bobby Moak, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party, said he just learned of Fair Fight’s existence at a recent conference in Los Angeles and he is slated to meet with them this week to discuss possible action in the Magnolia State.

“I look forward to their being here,” Mr. Moak said. “We need all the help we can get.”

Fair Fight has partnered with the Democratic Party in Georgia to form a PAC called the Legislative Victory Fund, but no such partnership exists in Louisiana or Mississippi, according to party officials.

Fair Fight did not reply to multiple requests for comments about its activities and plans.

Ms. Abrams became a hero to liberals during her failed gubernatorial bid last year. She accused Republican Brian Kemp, then the secretary of state, of making it harder for Democrats to vote.

That is a message Democrats have aimed at GOP-led states across the country, complaining that voter-ID laws, attempts to clean voter rolls and President Trump’s immigration rhetoric and policies are all really efforts to prevent people from casting votes.

Ms. Abrams flexed her popularity for the Democratic National Committee last week, firing off a fundraising plea warning that GOP plots are rigging elections nationwide.

“I’ve witnessed the consequences of the GOP’s voter suppression tactics,” Ms. Abrams wrote, continuing a point she has maintained since losing by more than 50,000 votes in a Georgia gubernatorial election that saw both overall turnout and black turnout set records.

“As Democrats we have an opportunity to fix what is so deeply broken in too many of our elections nationwide,” she wrote. “We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the GOP is ready to double down on its voter suppression playbook this year and in 2020.”

On its website Fair Fight, a 504(c) 4 nonprofit group, describes its work as bringing “awareness to the public on education reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in targeted voter registration and other voter outreach programs and communications.”

Rep. Ralph Abraham, a Republican angling to unseat Mr. Edwards in Louisiana’s election this year, says she’s unlikely to accomplish anything positive in the Pelican State.

“It is deeply disturbing that a person who has encouraged voting by illegal immigrants is now targeting Louisiana’s election,” said David Weinman, the Abraham campaign spokesman. “This is just more proof that the radical left will stop at nothing to protect their main ally in the Deep South: John Bel Edwards.”

The campaign of Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, another Republican running against Mr. Edwards, said Ms. Abrams’ tactics are unlikely to play any better among Louisiana’s electorate than they did with Georgia’s.

“Voters soundly rejected Abrams’ campaign and liberal platform in Georgia,” said Anthony Ramirez, a spokesman with the Rispone campaign. “The National Democratic Party is clearly afraid of Eddie and will do whatever they can to save John Bel.”

• James Varney can be reached at jvarney@washingtontimes.com.

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