John Lewis: Stacey Abrams 'would be a great senator'

Rep. John Lewis' desire is that Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who narrowly lost her race for Georgia governor in 2018, runs for the US Senate. Full credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP and Stephen B. Morton/AP

Rep. John Lewis' desire is that Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who narrowly lost her race for Georgia governor in 2018, runs for the US Senate.

The civil rights icon and Georgia Democrat told CNN on Thursday that Abrams "would be a great senator."

"She'd be a great voice and a great leader in the Senate," he added.

Abrams, who formerly served as Georgia state House minority leader, has said she will run for public office again and will make her anticipated decision next month. This week, Abrams launched a nonprofit group to ensure that populations that previous censuses have missed -- particularly minorities -- will be counted in 2020. The once-per-decade Census determines the number of a state's representatives in Congress and informs how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated.

Abrams could run for president or senator in 2020, or run again against now-Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022. When asked this week on ABC's "The View" if she would join a ticket with former Vice President Joe Biden, as has been rumored, Abrams responded, "I think you don't run for second place."

In the interview, Lewis said that another gubernatorial run is a "long time" from now. When asked if he thought that Abrams should run for Senate, Lewis said "yes."

"She would be a great leader for voting rights," said Lewis. "She would add so much to the politics of Georgia and Washington."

Lewis added he didn't know what Abrams will decide to do.

While other powerful Democrats in Congress, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, want her to run against Republican Sen. David Perdue, Abrams recently told the Associated Press that the Senate "is a different way to tackle the issues I see."

"It is a continuation of my legislative work, which I appreciated, but it's an indirect solution to some of the challenges I see," she said.

But she appears interested in the Senate. She talked to New York magazine about her concerns for national infrastructure issues, the lack of access to the internet in rural areas and noted the chamber's power to reshape the judicial branch through nominating and confirming nominees.

"More than anything," Abrams said, "there are the courts."

Perdue did not seem worried on Thursday about a potential election against Abrams.

"I'll just say that the road to socialism is not going to run through the state of Georgia," Purdue told CNN.

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