On Thursday morning, Texas House Democrats met with Fair Fight founder Stacey Abrams as well as former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Both meetings occurred virtually.
It’s been more than two weeks since Texas Democrats broke quorum and left for Washington, D.C. to stop Republican voter suppression legislation. During that time they’ve met with multiple top Democrats including Vice President Kamala Harris and Senator Joe Manchin. Texas Democrats are seeking to advance voting rights legislation while in D.C. in the hopes that the federal government will stop the GOP’s voter suppression in Texas and throughout the country.
“Bill and I were so pleased to see the tenacity and determination of Texas Democrats firsthand today as they work to stop voter suppression in their state and across the entire country,” said Hillary Clinton in a statement. “The fight to protect our voting rights is the fight to protect our democracy, so we stand with them and applaud their ongoing efforts to ensure our citizens have access to the ballot box.“
Abrams gave remarks and took questions from the caucus. She also urged them to stick together, saying their fight was bigger than Texas. “I am proud of the Texas Democratic legislators who are fighting tooth and nail to protect democracy in Texas and across our country,” Abrams said in a statement. “Both Georgia and Texas have proposed some of the most draconian anti-voter laws in the country. We all must make our voices heard and fight back against these laws while using every tool in our arsenal to ensure that we are protecting and expanding the right to vote.”
Abrams was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia in 2018, holding the distinction of being the first Black woman to be a major party’s gubernatorial nominee in American history. She lost by just 55,000 votes (less than two points) to Republican Brian Kemp, who was Georgia’s Secretary of State at the time. In other words, her opponent was the one overseeing the election. Kemp implemented a number of voter suppression tactics as Secretary of State, including purging voter rolls, closing polling places, and making it difficult for Georgians to register to vote. As Emory Professor Carol Anderson put it, the State Department would have questioned the legitimacy of Georgia’s 2018 election if it happened in another country.
After her defeat, Abrams launched a herculean effort to mobilize Georgia voters. This included the creation of Fair Fight Action, which fights voter suppression in Georgia as well as 20 other states, including Texas. Abrams’ efforts are credited with flipping Georgia blue in 2020, with Joe Biden becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1992 by a razor-thin margin. Abrams also helped the Democrats win a Senate majority in the 2021 special election, when the state elected Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock.
With a proven track record in combating voter suppression and mobilizing voters, Abrams will undoubtedly be a key ally for Texas Democrats.
“The Texas House Democratic delegation couldn’t be more thrilled or honored to be addressed by Leader Abrams or either of the Clintons,” said state Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin. “Abrams is a voting rights icon who has fundamentally changed the way we fight back against voter suppression in this country. “Simply put, without Stacey Abrams, there is no House Democratic walkout and millions of Texans would be stuck with unfair, racist election laws that make it harder for Black and brown Texans to vote. Stacey Abrams is the perfect motivator to keep us going — after a grueling three weeks away from our families, jobs, and state we love.”