facebook linkedin twitter

Top Democrats Woo Black Voters in Virginia Governor’s Race

October 18, 2021by Will Weissert, Associated Press
Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, left, arrives on stage during a rally with Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Norfolk, Va., Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Abrams was in town to encourage voters to vote for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the November election. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams on Sunday urged Black churchgoers to turn out for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in next month’s Virginia governor’s election, saying that what happens in the most watched race this year will “show the world who we are” in future contests with even higher stakes.

Abrams has become a leading national voice in the party since narrowly losing the 2018 race for governor in Georgia. With her appearances at three churches in Norfolk, Abrams is joining other political heavyweights in trying to ensure that a state trending increasingly Democratic in recent years does not flip back to the Republican column on Nov. 2.

McAuliffe, governor from 2014 to 2018 and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, visited separate churches and later led a rally with Abrams outside an early voting station. “We gotta get everybody out to vote,” he said. 

His Republican opponent, former business executive Glenn Youngkin, held a series of weekend events, including rallying Latino voters in the Washington suburbs.

“I am the daughter of not one, but two pastors,” said Abrams, who like all attendees entering Second Calvary Baptist Church showed a card indicating that she was fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The pastor, Geoffrey Guns, wore a black T-shirt emblazoned with “VOTE” and told the congregation that what’s “coming up is a very important election.” He repeated the phrase to louder applause and cries of “Amen.” 

President Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 percentage points over Donald Trump in 2020, but the McAuliffe-Youngkin race appears to be coming down to the wire. To shore up a contest they hope will give them momentum heading into next year’s midterms, when the party’s narrow control of Congress is at stake, national Democrats are turning out in force for McAuliffe.

First lady Jill Biden campaigned with him on Friday. Former President Barack Obama is coming this week. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms visited three Black churches in Richmond on Sunday. Vice President Kamala Harris, in a video to be seen at 300 churches statewide for the next two-plus weeks, calls McAuliffe “the leader Virginia needs at this moment.” Biden is planning his own visit. 

Youngkin has largely shied away from outside Republican stalwarts, hoping to attract independents disillusioned by Trump. Youngkin also has not campaigned personally with Trump, though the former president phoned into a Virginia rally last week featuring Steve Bannon, a longtime Trump strategist. 

Abrams told the congregations that in McAuliffe’s first term as governor, he increased funding for education and ensured that tens of thousands of former felons and others who had been removed from voter rolls had their right to the ballot box restored. 

“I know you get tired of being called a bellwether state but I’m going to tell you — as someone from one of those newly purplish states — we’ve got to look to you for wisdom,” she said, referring to once reliably Republican Georgia backing Biden and two Democratic senators last cycle.

During a subsequent stop, Abrams appealed to her audience: “What you say in 2021 will show the world who we are in 2022 and 2024 and beyond.”

At Faith Deliverance Christian Center, where congregants gathered in a gymnasium, the pastor, Sharon Riley, thanked Abrams for not being elected Georgia governor because “we now see that God had a plan” and that Abrams’ work since in defense of voting rights has made her one of the “most significant” people in the nation. 

Abrams said when she first began running for office, she felt mixing politics and church was bad. But, she said, her mother eventually reminded her that “politics is always in the church” and her father said that the Bible “is one of the most intense political texts ever written.” 

“Voting is an act of faith,” Abrams said. “I need you to do the job.”

___ This story has been updated to correct that last week’s Trump Virginia rally featured Steve Bannon rather than being organized by him and to remove reference to Youngkin calling into that rally.

A+
a-

In The States

EPA Head Tours Embattled Communities, says Help on the Way

RESERVE, La. (AP) — Michael Coleman's house is the last one standing on his tiny street, squeezed between a sprawling... Read More

RESERVE, La. (AP) — Michael Coleman's house is the last one standing on his tiny street, squeezed between a sprawling oil refinery whose sounds and smells keep him up at night and a massive grain elevator that covers his pickup in dust and, he says, exacerbates... Read More

December 2, 2021
by Reece Nations
Gov. Hochul Aims to Hold Office Amid Primary Challengers

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul took over for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August, and her performance... Read More

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul took over for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August, and her performance so far has strengthened her case for reelection with the state’s voters. Polling data suggests New Yorkers are generally supportive of her early work as governor,... Read More

December 2, 2021
by Reece Nations
Stacey Abrams Announces Georgia Gubernatorial Campaign

ATLANTA — Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams announced on Wednesday she will again run for governor in 2022. Abrams previously sought... Read More

ATLANTA — Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams announced on Wednesday she will again run for governor in 2022. Abrams previously sought to become Georgia’s first Black female governor in 2018 when she lost to current Gov. Brian Kemp. That election came down to the wire but Abrams... Read More

Student Kills 3, Wounds 8 at Oxford High School in Michigan

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at his Michigan high school, killing three students, including a... Read More

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at his Michigan high school, killing three students, including a 16-year-old boy who died in a deputy’s patrol car on the way to a hospital, authorities said. Eight other people were wounded, some critically, including a... Read More

December 1, 2021
by Dan McCue
Councilman Andre Dickens Wins Atlanta Mayoral Race

ATLANTA — City Council member Andre Dickens prevailed in a runoff election Tuesday and will be Altanta’s next mayor. Dickens... Read More

ATLANTA — City Council member Andre Dickens prevailed in a runoff election Tuesday and will be Altanta’s next mayor. Dickens came in second to the city council's current president, Felicia Moore, in a primary election in November that included 12 other candidates in a nonpartisan contest.... Read More

November 30, 2021
by Dan McCue
President Speaks of ‘Unimaginable Grief’ After Student Kills Three at Michigan School

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Three students were killed and eight people were wounded in an attack by a student at... Read More

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Three students were killed and eight people were wounded in an attack by a student at a Michigan high school Tuesday afternoon. According to Oakland County, Michigan, Undersheriff Mike McCabe, two of the wounded were undergoing surgery as of 5 p.m. Tuesday... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top