Oprah Winfrey to Campaign With Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams

Oprah Winfrey
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Oprah Winfrey plans to return to the trail this weekend to canvass and campaign for Stacey Abrams, who is in a tight race for governor of Georgia.

Two events planned for Winfrey and Abrams in Marietta and Decatur quickly reached capacity.

“On Thursday, trailblazing talk show host and global media pioneer Oprah Winfrey will join Stacey Abrams for two town hall conversations to discuss the critical issues at stake in this year’s election,” the campaign said in a statement. “Oprah will share why she believes Stacey Abrams is the best candidate to represent all of Georgia.”

While Winfrey is on the stump for Abrams, she will temporarily suspend her role as a special contributor to CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” There’s no word yet on when she’ll return to the show.

“Oprah Winfrey and CBS News have agreed that she will step away from her contributor role at ‘60 Minutes’ during this campaign season, in keeping with CBS News standards,” a CBS News spokesman said.

Winfrey proved to be a powerful endorsement for Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign, and she campaigned with him at rallies in advance of the Iowa caucus. Although it’s tough to discern whether she actually influenced voters to cast their ballots for him, the rallies themselves drew large crowds and boosted the campaign’s organizing efforts. She was much less involved in the 2012 and 2016 elections, although she supported Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Obama plans to campaign for Abrams on Friday, when he will appear at an evening rally in Atlanta.

Winfrey ignited speculation earlier this year that she was considering a 2020 presidential bid after she gave a rousing speech at the Golden Globes that reflected on the wave of revelations of sexual misconduct allegations in the entertainment industry.

“Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell,” Winfrey said. “And this year we became the story. But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace.”

But she has since dismissed the idea that she would wage a presidential campaign. She told British Vogue last summer, “I would not be able to do it. It’s not a clean business. It would kill me.”

Abrams’ Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, will be campaigning on Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence, including stops in Dalton, Grovetown and Savannah. President Trump will hold a rally on Sunday in Macon.