The party’s annual big-ticket fundraiser turned into a unity rally Thursday, as Democrats rallied behind candidates for top races and mocked Republicans who face a grueling nine-week runoff to hash out their nominees for governor and other key offices.
Democrat Stacey Abrams, the nominee for governor, sat a few feet from her one-time rival Stacey Evans. Other unsuccessful candidates worked the room, pledging to band behind the party’s nominees even as Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp ready for a July 24 showdown.
“While they are toiling in the vineyards trying to figure out who they are, Democrats are focused on getting to the ballot boxes in November,” said Abrams. “In November, we are going to win back our state because as I’ve said many times, we’re not a red state. We are blue but confused.”
She was followed by U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, whose upset victory in last year’s Alabama special election energized Democrats. He implored Georgia activists to “keep the energy going” and not get complacent.
“As someone who no one gave a snowball’s chance in hell for winning a race for U.S. Senate, I’ll tell you: Not only can she do it, she will do it,” said Jones. “And a win in this state can change the arc of history.”
Evans, who quickly endorsed Abrams after her defeat Tuesday, also appeared alongside the nominee at a luncheon organized by the WIN List advocacy group earlier Thursday. At the fundraiser, party chair DuBose Porter praised her for her party loyalty.
“Friends, if you want to know what a class act is, look no further than right there,” said Porter.
Not only was Evans in the house, but so were other unsuccessful candidates who showed up two days after the vote: Bobby Kaple, the third-place finisher in the 6th District race; Erick Allen, who lost a bid for Georgia House to a candidate who didn’t campaign; Cindy Zeldin, who fell to a longshot contender.