Right outside of Stacey Abrams campaign headquarters in Atlanta, GA, Thomas Fellows was on a mission.
The local author and sales team coach at Morehouse College, had stopped by unannounced hoping to run into Abrams, Georgia’s democratic gubernatorial candidate, and hand over a letter he wrote for her.
“Hey, I’m white, I’m from Buckhead and I’m voting for Abrams,” Fellows shouted out as he passed theGrio‘s camera crew.
When asked for the reason why Abrams had earned his vote, he launched into an explanation that went way deeper into voting rights and race relations in America.
“I saw the debate and I want to have a governor who’s actually well spoken and is not using a filler word every 10 seconds,” Fellows told theGrio, throwing some not-so-subtle shade at Brian Kemp, the Republican gubernatorial candidate and also currently Georgia’s Secretary of State accused of overseeing voter suppression tactics.
“And [while] I don’t necessarily agree with Stacey on all the issues…I think she’d be good for the tech industry to be honest because states that go blue are usually better for the tech industry, so that’s why I’m voting for her,” explained Fellows.
When asked whether the white voters in the South would actually show up to vote for Abrams, Fellow said thats while her chances are not impossible, the fact is that segregation persists.
“The problem with race relations today is that white people aren’t used to looking at a Black person like a boss in their company, in corporate America. They’re used to looking at Black people like musicians, athletes and so forth.
Now, I went to the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, and I had three [back-to-back] African-American female teachers, so I understood from an early age. My golf coach was African-American. There’s just not enough intermingling, in general, in race relations today and that’s going to continue to happen, but hopefully Stacey Abrams can curtail that notion that Black people aren’t smart enough, which is completely false..”
Abrams is tied neck and neck at the polls with her opponent Brian Kemp, with NBC News/Marist reporting that each candidate has earned 47 percent support from registered voters.
Abrams has the lead amongst Black voters at 84 percent.
The same polls say amongst women and college voters, Abrams has the lead by a 14 point margin.
Fellows represents a minority among white voters, who still need convincing to support Abrams before November 6; the majority of white voters favor Kemp in the polls 2 to 1.
The question of whether she can “swing” the white and conservative vote has come up repeatedly in interviews. But Abrams remains steadfast and assured that voters, just like Fellows, will see past race and identify with her vision.
“The new south is coming,” Abrams told theGrio last week while campaigning in Valdosta, GA. “The question of is do we harness it. Are we afraid of it. I want us to harness it. I think it can be a strength that should not be something used against us.”
Learn more about Stacey Abrams‘ final push to the polls at www.staceyabrams.com and follow the hashtag #BlackVoterPower to see more of theGrio’s midterm coverage.