Stacey Abrams, who was on a short list of potential vice presidential candidates earlier this year, was ultimately not picked by Joseph R. Biden Jr. But on Friday, as Mr Biden took a narrow lead in Georgia , it was Mrs. Abrams. which was celebrated, a sign of his remarkable rise as a power broker since his failed bid for governor of that state two years ago.
Celebrities, activists and voters across Georgia have given Ms Abrams credit for moving past her loss – she came within 55,000 votes from the Governor’s Mansion – and building a well-funded network of organizations that highlighted voter suppression in the state and inspired around 800,000 residents to register to vote.
“You have to build the infrastructure to organize and motivate your base, and you have to persuade people,” said Jason Carter, a Democrat who was the party’s candidate for governor in 2014. “Stacey built that infrastructure, and Donald Trump’s presidency has energized this infrastructure, and it has opened up voters to persuasion that was previously not open, especially in the suburbs.
Mr. Biden edged out President Trump in Georgia, a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic presidential candidate for nearly three decades, and maintained a slight lead throughout Friday. He was up about 4,100 votes by Friday night with over 98 percent of the ballots counted. Due to the small margin, the Secretary of State confirmed that there would be a recount.
Still, state Democrats were jubilant.
Ms Abrams declined to comment on Friday. But in a Tweeter, she wrote: “My heart is full.” And she cited the work of other activists. “Georgia, let’s cry out for those who have been in the trenches and deserve the applause for change.”
If Mr Biden maintains his slim lead in Georgia, his profile is likely to grow.