She told the AJC the push to bolster the scholarship will still be a priority, but she'll also focus her campaign on expanding the Medicaid program, increasing education spending and advocating for legislation that provides anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community.
“It’s ridiculous that Georgia is one of very few states that have no protections for the LGBTQ community when it comes to housing, employment and accommodations,” she said. “I’m surprised the movie industry hasn’t come down hard on us for that.”
She also intends to emphasize her long-standing opposition to abortion restrictions, including the 2012 vote against a 20-week abortion ban.
Evans was nine months pregnant during that vote, which was scheduled on the day she was to be induced into labor. She spoke against the bill in a videotaped statement played for House lawmakers hours before she gave birth to her daughter Ashley, who is now 7.
“I can immediately be involved in strong efforts to push progressive policies that we need,” Evans said. “And at a time when we’re hopelessly divided, I have a proven track record that gets things done by working across the aisle on progressive issues.”
She has no known primary opponent for the seat held since 2001 by Gardner, who told supporters last week that "after the 2018 campaign and especially after the contentious 2019 session, I knew it was time to move on to new endeavors."
Evans said she's been sharpened by lessons learned from traveling the state during the bitter 2018 campaign against Abrams that served as a test of competing strategies. She was trounced in that race by Abrams, and quickly endorsed her adversary shortly after the polls closed.
“If the 2018 campaign taught me anything, it’s how much good leadership is needed,” she said. “It was disheartening to see communities suffering from the same problems for years. Leadership, experience, focus – all of that matters. Being in the fight matters.”