In a rousing speech in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Atlanta, Oprah Winfrey urged voters on Thursday to make history by backing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in next week’s election. (Nov. 1)
Oprah Winfrey was clear when she spoke to a crowd in Marietta, Georgia, Thursday as she rallied for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
“Georgia, you’ve been on my mind,” the former talk show host and billionaire proclaimed.
“I was just sitting at home in California minding my own business but I could not stop thinking about what’s going on down here,” Winfrey said, telling the crowd they are “on the precipice of a historic election.”
Winfrey has traveled to Georgia to campaign for Abrams, whose potential victory would make her the first African American woman to be governor in U.S. history.
The cultural icon said she is a political independent who has “earned the right to think for myself and to vote for myself.” She stressed the importance of getting out to vote over any partisan or policy message.
“I don’t want any party, and I don’t want any kind of partisan influence telling me what decisions I get to make for myself,” she said. “Nobody paid for me to come here, nobody even asked me to come here, I paid for myself and I approve this message.”
Winfrey said she called Abrams three days ago of her own volition and said, “Stacey, this is Oprah.”
“And you know what she said? She said, ‘Girl, let me pull over to the side of the road,” Winfrey said.
She stressed that her appearance was not about testing the political waters and that she does not plan to run for office herself.
Winfrey said she was at the rally because of people who have been “lynched” and “oppressed” for their right to vote.
“I want you to know at their blood has seeped into my DNA and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain,” she said. “for anybody here who has an ancestor who didn’t have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote, wherever you are in this state, in this country, you are dishonoring your family, you are disrespecting and disregarding their legacy, their suffering and their dreams when you don’t vote.”
She said the right to vote is like “the crown that we all get to wear.”
Abrams has accused her opponent, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, of racially motivated “voter suppression” by disproportionately rejecting African-American voter registration applications.
Polls indicate a very tight race between Kemp and Abrams, indicating that the race will hinge on voter turnout.
In addition to Winfrey, actor Will Ferrell has campaigned for Georgia Democrats, and former President Barack Obama is scheduled to be in Georgia Friday.
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