Stacey Abrams wins Democratic governor’s primary in Georgia

Stacey Abrams calls Kemp Georgia’s ‘legal’ governor
Stacey Abrams was the winner in the Democratic primary in Georgia's gubernatorial race on May 22, 2018.

Stacey Abrams will win the Democratic primary in Georgia’s gubernatorial race Tuesday, CNN projects, becoming the first black woman in the nation to hold a major party’s nomination for governor.

If she wins in November, she will become the country’s first black female governor.

The former state House minority leader defeated former state Rep. Stacey Evans, who ran a campaign that tried to appeal to moderates and independent voters.

Abrams, who grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, as one of six children, told CNN’s Kyung Lah in an interview before the election she was aware that “as an African-American woman, I will be doing something no one else has done.”

In the interview, Abrams also recounted a story about being rejected as a high school student at the gates of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion at an event honoring the state’s top students.

“In front of the most powerful place in Georgia, telling me I don’t belong there, that’s resonated for me for the last 20 years. The reality is having a right to be places does not always mean that you’ll gain admission,” she said.

Abrams’ status as an African-American with strong progressive support, as well as Georgia’s status as an early primary and marquee general election state, made her campaign a major draw for national Democratic figures.

Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Abrams, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Sen. Kamala Harris went to Georgia to campaign for her.

The Republican race, meanwhile, could be headed to a runoff, with none of the six candidates — including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and secretary of state Brian Kemp — currently holding a majority of the vote.

If no candidate tops 50%, the top two will advance to a one-on-one runoff on July 24 to decide who will take on Abrams.