What You Need To Know: Stacey Abrams

Who is Stacey Abrams, chosen to deliver Democratic response to State of the Union?

Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia, has been tapped to give her party’s response to President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address.

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Here are some things to know about the politician:

She grew up in Mississippi

Born Dec. 9, 1973, in Madison, Wisconsin, she and her sisters moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, with their parents, Robert Abrams and Carolyn Abrams, when Abrams was a child. Her three younger siblings were born in that state, where the family lived until 1989, when they moved to Georgia.

Once in Atlanta, Robert Abrams and Carolyn Abrams attended Emory University and became United Methodist ministers. 

She’s a lawyer and politician

Before running for governor of Georgia, Abrams was the minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives. Before that, she served two terms in the House, representing the the 84th District from 2007 to 2013 and the 89th District from 2013 to 2017. From 2003 to 2006, she was the deputy city attorney for Atlanta.

That path came after Abrams got degrees from Spelman College, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and Yale Law School.

In this May 20, 2018, file photo, then-Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams participates in a debate in Atlanta. Abrams will deliver the opposition response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union.
Photo: John Amis/AP/AP

She’s an entrepreneur

Abrams has had multiple business ventures. In 2009, she and Lara Hodgson co-founded Nourish, a startup beverage company focused on infants and toddlers. The next year, the two co-founded NOWaccount, a financial services firm. 

She’s a writer

Abrams has written eight romantic suspense novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery. It’s no surprise, then, that she grew up around books. When she was born, Carolyn Abrams was studying for her graduate degree in library science at the University of Wisconsin. When they moved to Mississippi, Carolyn Abrams worked in the William Carey University library, where Abrams would visit after school. According to her mother, Abrams began reading chapter books by the age of 4 and skipped first grade.

In 2018, she published a nonfiction book called “Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change.”

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