For Black Women In Georgia, Stacey Abrams Is More Than Just Another Candidate
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Let's check in now on Georgia. The governor's race there is one of the tightest and most bitter in the country. Stephannie Stokes of member station WABE reports on how voters in the Atlanta area are feeling.
STEPHANNIE STOKES, BYLINE: Alice Lovelace has a huge smile on her face as she walks out of a southwest Atlanta library. She can barely get words out.
ALICE LOVELACE: I - I - I am - I am so proud. I'm just so proud. Let's turn out the young people. It's just amazing.
STOKES: This is her usual polling place. She's lived in this neighborhood for 20 years and has never seen a line. But this morning, when Lovelace arrived at 7, there was a 30-minute wait.
LOVELACE: This is the longest line I've ever been so happy to stand in (laughter). It's beautiful.
STOKES: The precinct in a historically black part of the city is full of excitement. For November Scandrett, another voter, it's because of what the Democratic candidate for governor represents.
NOVEMBER SCANDRETT: It was empowering, you know, to see someone that looks like me.
STOKES: Stacey Abrams would be the first black female governor in the country, and Scandrett says that matters to her.
SCANDRETT: I know my ancestors and my grandparents would be proud if they were alive because they never foresaw any of this.
STOKES: Lovelace says that milestone would be great, but she also thinks Abrams would signal a shift. She's so upset about national politics, she started ignoring it all.
LOVELACE: I decided instead I would simply concentrate on this day and that this day would be the referendum.
STOKES: That today will be a referendum is precisely what's worrying Republican voters here. Lines are just about as long at a recreation center 20 miles north in Atlanta's suburbs. Brian Martin brought his family to vote.
How are you feeling today?
BRIAN MARTIN: A little nervous.
STOKES: With all of the attention on the governor's race, he hopes the contest doesn't end up being a national win for Democrats. He supports the Trump administration and is backing Georgia's Republican candidate for governor, Brian Kemp.
MARTIN: Trends are good. I'm not worried about an occasional non-PC tweet, so I'm happy with the way things are going.
STOKES: Like Trump, Kemp has bragged about not being politically correct. Jim Munsell is afraid the national conservative agenda is on the line, particularly around immigration. He knows immigrants are valuable to Georgia. They work in the state's farms.
JIM MUNSELL: You know, they're really hurt when they don't have them, so I'm not against it, but I want them to come in the right way and do it legally.
STOKES: So the country can keep track of who's here. Munsell thinks the border wall President Trump has promised would help.
MUNSELL: And that's probably not going to happen if the conservatives don't get get in power again.
STOKES: But he does agree with democratic Georgians on one thing. He says no matter what, more people voting in the midterms is good. For NPR News, I'm Stephannie Stokes in Atlanta.
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