Democrats get a boost, thanks to women and nonwhite candidates

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Stacey Abrams Could Become Nation's First Black Female Governor

Labor Commissioner (an elected position in Georgia) Michael Thurmond actually won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate that same year, which was a bad year for any Democrat to take on popular U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, who defeated another rare African-American statewide nominee (and another perceived centrist), U.S. Representative Denise Majette (best known for upsetting Cynthia McKinney in a U.S. House primary in 2002), by a similar margin in 2004.

How all this plays out in general elections in this and future election years is still uncertain. She's been using the incarceration to put a spotlight on her Justice for Georgia plan to implement criminal justice reform.

Stacey Abrams won the party's nomination for governor in Georgia, where she faces long odds in a Republican-dominated southern state testing divergent Democratic strategies.

Abrams had the support of organizations that spanned the gambit of the "establishment" while running on a strong progressive platform and her campaign centered mobilizing black and low-income voters, displaying a radically different theory of politics than the dominant view in past elections of courting middle-class moderates, which has largely proved unsuccessful for Democrats.

Abrams, a longtime Georgia legislator, beat former state Rep. Stacey Evans by nearly three-fourths of the vote.

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As more states hold primaries, the influence of women on the Democratic Party and its election chances has grown.

Lizzie Pannell Fletcher raked in twice the votes as her more progressively oriented opponent Laura Moser, after a fierce race for the nomination to challenge nine-time Republican incumbent John Culbertson in Texas's 7th, a Houston-area House district.

But it's still not clear if the extra time with a focused campaign will overcome some of the hurdles Abrams faces in the race ahead. Rather, she wanted to widen the electorate by attracting young voters and nonwhites who hadn't been casting ballots.

"Her basic proposition was: Trying to go after white voters who are inclined to vote Republican is futile", Gillespie said.

Ms Abrams was raised in Gulfport, Mississippi, with her five siblings. But her better than three-to-one margin over Evans showed she had built her own biracial coalition without a white skin - or conspicuous centrism. Last week in Pennsylvania, a large state with no women in its 20-member congressional delegation, seven women won Democratic primaries.

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John Pigg of Danville, a Patriot Guard Rider and American Legion Rider, will give the main address. 309-236-2455 or 309-373-3503. The 10 a.m. ceremony is normally held at the Evergreen Cemetery, but also needed to move inside because of expected bad weather.

Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, an associate professor of political science at Quinnipiac University said that she is encouraged by Abrams' win.

This "battle of the two Staceys" was historic because two women competed as major contenders in a Georgia gubernatorial primary for the first time in its history. This year the Republican turnout rate decreased to 53 percent while Democratic turnout increased to 46 percent.

Abrams is an underdog with a compelling backstory. She later worked as a tax attorney.

On the side, using the pen name Selena Montgomery, she published several romance novels with titles such as "Hidden Sins" and "Secrets and Lies".

If Abrams wins during the November general election, she would be the first ever African-American female governor of a US state.

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