ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter is backing Democrat Stacey Abrams in the race for Georgia governor, becoming the third U.S. president to weigh in on the contest.
“Stacey Abrams is the right leader for our changing state who has consistently championed the American values we share: equality for all, excellent public schools for our children, and an economy where families from Plains to Plainville and Pooler have the opportunity to get ahead,” Carter said in a statement released by Abrams’ campaign.
The endorsement from the former Georgia governor comes after former President Barack Obama endorsed Abrams and President Donald Trump endorsed her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp.
Obama’s endorsement earlier this month praised Abrams for “not running a campaign built on division or distraction.”
Trump tipped the scales for Kemp in the contentious Republican primary runoff last month, praising his tough stance on immigration and support for gun rights.
In a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Abrams said she is honored to receive the nod from Carter.
“His integrity, commitment to faith with works, and dedication to eradicating poverty serve as an example as I seek to lead our state to prosperity,” Abrams said.
Kemp spokesman Ryan Mahoney, meanwhile, slammed Carter, saying he is a “good man but was a terrible president.”
“Like Carter, (Abrams is) incredibly bright, incredibly liberal and would be an absolutely horrible governor,” Mahoney said.