Oprah Winfrey is in Georgia Thursday to do something she hasn’t done since Barack Obama’s 2008 bid for president: She’s hitting the campaign trail. Winfrey will appear at two town halls and will be door-knocking with Stacey Abrams, who’s vying to become the first black woman governor in U.S. history.
Abrams, the Democratic candidate locked in a tight race with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, has announced town hall meetings Thursday in Marietta and Decatur. The campaign’s website advertises conversations “on the critical value of women in leadership and what is at stake for our communities in the election.”
“Oprah Winfrey has inspired so many of us through the years with her unparalleled ability to form real connections and strengthen the bonds of family and community,” Abrams said in a statement distributed by her campaign. “I am honored to have Oprah join me for uplifting and honest conversations with voters about the clear choice before us in this election and the boundless potential of Georgians.”
This year’s gubernatorial race in Georgia is drawing high-profile boosters of both candidates, including President Trump and Vice President Pence for Kemp and former president Obama for Abrams. The race has been marred by allegations of voter suppression.
Winfrey’s last big splash on the campaign trail came more than a decade ago, during the early stages of the 2008 Democratic presidential race on behalf of Barack Obama, then a U.S. senator from Illinois.
A rousing speech by Winfrey at the Golden Globes awards ceremony in January stoked speculation that she might seek to challenge Trump in 2020. In comments since then, Winfrey has tamped down talk about a presidential bid.
In an interview with British Vogue over the summer, Winfrey said she did not think she was cut out for politics.
“I would not be able to do it. It’s not a clean business. It would kill me,” she said.