The Root: DNC Chair Tom Perez Says Democrats are Committed to Stacey Abrams’ Victory in Georgia …

By Jason Johnson


All too often political speakers treat the National Association of Black Journalist Convention as a microcosm of how they treat the black press. They only show up when they’re desperate, and still act like they’re doing us a favor, but seldom have any exclusives or meaningful information to offer.


Reince Priebus came to NABJ in Boston in 2014 and tried to lecture the crowd about why voter ID wasn’t that big a deal. In 2016, Hillary Clinton spoke in Washington, D.C. and didn’t face many tough questions or offer many real solutions. Last year we had The Real Housewives of New Orleans when a fight almost broke out between Omarosa and Ed Gordon, ironically on a panel about violence against unarmed black people. In stark contrast, Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez came to talk about what the DNC was actually doing in the 2018 mid-term elections, and specifically what they were doing to help Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams become the first black woman elected governor in U.S. History. The Root had the opportunity to speak with him on Thursday after his panel discussion with the NABJ audience in Detroit.


Perez praised the Abrams campaign’s hard work on the ground and laying out what the DNC has done and will be doing to help in the questionably purple state of Georgia.


“We made a six month investment in rural African American voters,” Perez said, pointing out that historically in Georgia (and most other Southern states), Democrats focus on the metro areas and pretty much concede rural counties to Republicans. Abrams won her primary with 76 percent of the vote by visiting all 159 counties in Georgia and not just giving on up rural African Americans, Latinos and Democratic white folks. However, clearly the DNC and Perez understand that Abrams still has a tough race ahead of her.