One day after Stacey Abrams made the announcement she would not seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate next year, former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson formally announced her campaign.
Tomlinson most recently served two terms as mayor of Georgia's second-largest city and is a partner at Atlanta law firm Hall Booth Smith.
The first female mayor of Columbus, Tomlinson launched an exploratory committee at the beginning of April while local and national Democrats awaited the decision of former gubernatorial nominee Abrams, who said she wants to continue her focus on voting rights and other issues (while leaving the option of a White House run open).
— stephen fowler | georgia politics reporter (@stphnfwlr) May 1, 2019
In her announcement video Wednesday, Tomlinson touted her record as mayor and said she would bring "smart, pragmatic, effective government" to Washington "without all the crazy and the mean."
"We took bold, courageous steps to reform those things that weren't working," Tomlinson said, pointing to a Wallethub statistic that claimed Columbus was one of the 25 best-run cities in the country. "We reduced crime by 42%... reversed blight and built up communities... radically reduced unemployment and created a whole new tourism economy."
In a separate press release, Tomlinson said her campaign was on track to raise nearly $300,000 by the end of the day Wednesday, raising more than $260,000 in twelve hours after Abrams' announcement she wasn't running. About three-quarters of those donations came from Georgians, the release said.
As GPB's Robert Jimison reports, Tomlinson's website touts both progressive policies and her younger days as a Republican as evidence she can appeal to both liberal and conservative voters in the state.
Other Democrats are considering a run to challenge Republican Sen. David Perdue, who is one of President Trump's strongest allies on Capitol Hill. Perdue raised more than $2 million towards his re-election in the first three months of 2019.