Sarah Riggs Amico. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

Georgia 2020: Amico preps likely run for US Senate 

Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico is lining up strategists and making a series of other behind-the-scenes moves as she prepares for a possible run for U.S. Senate against first-term Republican David Perdue.

The logistics executive, who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2018, is in talks with progressive pollster Cornell Belcher and Perkins Coie, a law firm with a large elections practice, to advise her potential campaign. 

And she’s likely to hire several former Stacey Abrams aides, including communications specialist Abigail Collazo and senior adviser Karen Finney, said a veteran strategist who is not authorized to speak publicly about the discussions.

Democrats consider Georgia a must-win to flip control of the U.S. Senate, but the field has been slow to develop. After Abrams decided against a run, only one major Democratic contender is in the race: Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. Other potential contenders include former 6th District candidate Jon Ossoff.

Tomlinson’s campaign is working with well-known Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, who most recently advised Doug Jones' successful U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama. Tomlinson has also hired a team of other advisers, including Edana Walker, a former Abrams finance director. 

Perdue, meanwhile, is preparing, too, for a re-election battle that will bring a deluge of money and attention to Georgia, which is expected to be a battleground state for President Donald Trump’s quest for a second term. 

Amico is said to still be in the “testing the waters” phase, according to the strategist, and has been spotted at several recent Democratic events around the state. But she’s expected to jump in the race within weeks, perhaps shortly after the end-of-June fundraising deadline. 

While Abrams has said she’ll stay out of the race, Amico would likely use her 2018 election strategy as a blueprint if she runs. That means a focus on healthcare and voting rights as top issues – and a relentless effort to appeal to minorities and first-time voters. 

As she considers a potential run, Amico has also met with Stephanie Schriock of Emily’s List, the left-leaning advocacy group, and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee officials in Washington. She’s also in talks with the Win Company, a media firm whose clientele includes Barack Obama and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

In a statement, Amico did not say whether she would enter the race.  But she gave a preview of a potential message when she said she heard from Georgians last year who are “struggling to access healthcare and provide for their families, who were abandoned and forgotten by David Perdue and Republicans in Washington.” 

“Georgians need a leader who will put their needs first, help them rebuild after storms and invest in their children’s future, instead of hiding behind partisan politics and endless excuses,” Amico said. 

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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