Oprah jumps into contentious Georgia race, endorses Democrat Abrams


Cast member Oprah Winfrey poses at the premiere of “A Wrinkle in Time” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) – Oprah Winfrey plans to lend her star power to Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams’ quest to become the United States’ first black woman governor at a couple of appearances in the state on Thursday.

After a brief flirtation earlier this year with a run for the White House in 2020, the media mogul, who has long associated herself with Democratic Party causes, has instead thrown her influence into a race that has become a flash point for accusations of voter suppression.

Abrams’ Republican rival, Brian Kemp, serves as Georgia secretary of state, a role in which he oversees state elections. Earlier this month, a coalition of state civil rights groups sued Kemp, accusing him of trying to depress minority voter turnout to improve his chances of winning. On Monday, former U.S. President and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter asked Kemp to step down as secretary of state since he was running for governor.

Abrams’ campaign said she would appear with Winfrey in Cobb and DeKalb counties for a discussion on “the critical value of women in leadership and what is at stake for our communities in the election.”

Winfrey, 63, stole the show at January’s Golden Globes awards ceremony with a speech against sexual harassment and assault. It sparked an online campaign to persuade her to run against Republican U.S. President Donald Trump in the next election cycle.

“It’s not something that interests me,” Winfrey told InStyle magazine in January. “I met with someone the other day who said that they would help me with a campaign. That’s not for me.”

Winfrey could not be reached for immediate comment on Wednesday.

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Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bernadette Baum



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