Head of Democratic voting rights effort seeks Georgia House seat

Over the last decade, Stacey Abrams and Bee Nguyen represented the same Atlanta-based Georgia House district. Now another voting rights advocate wants to follow in their footsteps.

Saira Draper, who heads the voter protection initiative at the Democratic Party of Georgia, said Thursday she’s running for the open seat. Nguyen, who succeeded Abrams in 2017, is running for secretary of state.

“This district has a history of electing formidable women who are experts in voting rights,” Draper said in an interview. “It’s more critical than ever that we have a proponent of elections and democracy in the Gold Dome. And I’m ready to fill that role.”

Draper is among five Democrats in the race for the deep-blue district, and her campaign revolves around her work in the 2020 cycle combating efforts to narrow voting rights.

She’s not the first state party voter protection leader to seek elected office. Sarah Tindall Ghazal, who was Draper’s predecessor, challenged Republican state Rep. Matt Dollar in 2020. She was defeated in the Republican-leaning district.

Draper said she’d vote to repeal the Republican-backed election overhaul that passed last year and push for other ways to expand ballot access in Georgia.

“It’d be an honor to carry that torch from Stacey Abrams and Bee Nguyen. I’m ready to advocate legislation that benefits all Georgians – and fight against the laws that don’t.”

Insider’s note: This item was ripped and expanded from the Jolt.