Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams speaks onstage at EMILY's List Breaking Through 2016 at the Democratic National Convention at Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images For EMILY's List)

The Georgia governor’s race is on fire and has become one of the most highly anticipated political contests in the nation.

There are two women, Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans, vying for the Democratic nomination. In the state’s 242-year existence, all 81 of its governors have been white men, according to Not only is there the issue of gender at play, but Abrams as a Black woman who is also the minority leader in the State House of Representatives for nearly a decade, brings an additional level of race to the discussion.

Georgia’s Democrats vote today, May 22, and both the polls and the early-voting pattern suggest Abrams will win. She’s a rising political powerhouse who just published new book “Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change.”

“The crux of the book is about having the space to lead when your life doesn’t look like the way people tell you it ought to because you’re different, because you’re a person of color, or because you’re a woman,” says Abrams. “This book is a very authentic conversation about how hard it is to gain power when you don’t start with privilege. Yes, it’s hard, it’s going to be mean, but it’s still possible.”

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Political experts are heralding Abrams as the future of American politics because of her transparency (she admits to once being $200,000 in debt from accumulated student loans, credit card debt and tax payments) and her ability to relate to people from both sides of the political spectrum. Abrams, however, says that’s not necessarily her focus.

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My mission is not the conversion of Republican voters, although I would be happy to have them. My mission is the engagement of voters who don’t believe their votes matter. I want them to be converted so that they believe that I will hear them, and I will speak with them and for them.  I would be grateful to have every disaffected Republican there is, but my campaign is designed and engaging voters of every race and community, who believe that no one hears them. I want them to believe I hear them and I have lived their life.”

As Abrams tries to become the first Black woman governor of the state of Georgia, here are a few interesting facts about where she stands on the issues.

On prison reform:

Abrams ha said she plans to reform bail policies, decriminalize traffic offenses, and increase training that recognizes implicit bias. She hopes to do so by expanding support around community policing while making the connection between disparities in school funding, health care access, and job opportunities to over-incarceration and prolonged probation sentences.

On education reform:

According to Abrams, public education is a fundamental obligation to every Georgia state resident. As Minority Leader, she advocated for fully-funded quality public education. Abrams wanted to shine a light on those schools that struggled and provide them with the support needed to turn things around.  As House Minority Leader, Abrams promoted legislation that helped parents, students and educators that provide children with the capacity to learn, develop and grow.

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On gun control reform:

Just about everyone is affected by gun violence these days. Abrams hopes to spark comprehensive conversation about gun violence and keeping guns out of the wrong hands as well as racially discriminatory policing. She plans to start with a slew of proposals that will more restrictions to purchase certain guns and wider access to mental health care.