Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has been tapped to deliver the Democratic response to Donald Trump's rescheduled State of the Union. "She's an incredible leader". Schumer called Abrams a "great spokesperson" and a leader on voting rights. "I haven't thought about it", Abrams told Politico when asked if she is considering a run for the presidency, adding that she is "open to all options".
On Twitter, Abrams wrote, "At a moment when our nation needs to hear from leaders who can unite for a common objective, I am honored to be delivering the Democratic State of the Union response".
Even as she belatedly conceded her loss, she said "democracy failed" her state.
The address has usually been given by a member of Congress or a sitting governor, making Abrams an intriguing choice given that she doesn't now hold a political office.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California will deliver the Democratic response in Spanish. While she fell short in her bid against Republican Brian Kemp, she received more votes than any Democrat who has ever run statewide in Georgia, prompting some to suggest she should be in the presidential or vice presidential mix.
Abrams is the first black woman to win a major party nomination for governor. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's lunge for a water bottle became a meme after his response in 2013. The strategy was an outgrowth of her work with the New Georgia Project, an officially nonpartisan organization she helped establish that registered tens of thousands of mostly minority voters across the state beginning during the 2014 election cycle.
In an unusual move and a nod to the changing face of the Democratic party, former Georgia state Rep.
A spokeswoman for Abrams' campaign released a statement in October claiming that the he was "maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters - the majority of them people of color".
Since November Ms Abrams has launched a new voting rights advocacy group, Fair Fight Georgia, which has filed a federal lawsuit against Georgia election officials for alleged mismanagement of the mid-term elections.
Ms. Abrams is a natural choice to carry Democrats' messages of diversity and voting rights expansion.