Stacey Abrams says race plays a role in Beto O’Rourke’s rise to fame

Former Georgia gubernatorial contender Stacey Abrams says race 'plays a part' for Democratic 2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke’s rising popularity.

Stacey Abrams (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)


Beto O’Rourke rose to become a Democratic favorite for many reasons, which includes the Texan’s rise to fame for making an impassioned speech as to why NFL players should be afforded the right to kneel on the field.

Stacey Abrams, however, believes that race may have played a role in how O’Rourke has gained momentum and popularity so fast, CNBC reports.

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Abrams who ran for Georgia governor and lost by a narrow margin suggested that she and Andrew Gillum who ran for governor for Florida didn’t cultivate the same support and attention as O’Rourke because they are Black.

Especially she says since there was no “distinction with a difference between what he accomplished” and what she and Gillum accomplished.

O’Rourke lost the 2018 race for a Texas Senate to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in a narrow bid by 2.6 percentage points.

He quickly rose to fame and has entered the fray to run for President in 2020.

Abrams and Gillum were in closely fought elections in Republican states too.

Abrams lost by 2 percentage points to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. And Gillum lost by 0.4 percentage points to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the Florida governor’s race.

However, Abrams questions why she and Gillum weren’t “lifted up” like O’Rourke was.

“I think race plays a part,” Abrams said. “I think region plays a part. I also think phenotype plays a part.” The phrase phenotype refers to physical appearance among other characteristics.

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After narrowly losing the race for governor in November, Abrams has gained a lot of popularity amongst the Democratic party. Now, the politician may be potentially running for the top spot to serve as president, saying she’s “just as capable” to run as other candidates who have announced that they are running.

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Though she did not win her gubernatorial race, she noted on CBS This Morning on Wednesday, that she believes that her campaign was successful in “transforming the electorate” in Georgia last year. She also didn’t “rule out” the thought of running in the upcoming 2020 election.