"Stacey Abrams, at forty-four, has become one of the most prominent black female politicians in the United States. As Georgia’s House Minority Leader, Abrams, a Democrat, was the first woman to lead either party in the state’s general assembly. Since graduating from Spelman College and Yale Law School—in between, she got a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, at the University of Texas—she has worked as a tax attorney in Atlanta, co-founded a financial-services firm, and created the New Georgia Project to register hundreds of thousands of voters, particularly people of color, young people, and unmarried women. Abrams has also written eight ‘romantic suspense’ novels, half of them published by HarperCollins, under the name Selena Montgomery. Abrams has said that she created the pen name to keep her fiction separate from the papers on tax law she was also publishing at the time; she happened to be watching a documentary about Elizabeth Montgomery, who played the lead on ‘Bewitched,’ when she chose the name. Abrams has a book under own name, ‘Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change,’ coming out later this month.
On Saturday, I went to see Abrams speak at the International Longshoremen’s Association, in Savannah. Prior to her arrival, scores of dockworkers were milling about, checking their schedules, playing Ping-Pong, catching up with colleagues and friends. Of the dozen men I spoke to outside the I.L.A., all of them African-American, Wali Johnson, a man in his sixties selling watermelons from the back of his truck, was the only one who had heard of Abrams. ‘All I know is that she’s running for governor,’ he said. Should Abrams win in November, she would be Georgia’s first Democratic governor in fifteen years, its first black governor, and the first black woman to be the governor of any state in the country. ‘I don’t care if they’re Republican, Democrat, black, white, or Chinese,’ Johnson said, of politicians generally. ‘I just want them to do the right thing and don’t forget about us in the African-American neighborhoods.’"