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(Editor’s note: This is one of a series of articles in the months to come on Democrat and Republican candidates for office.)

Bee Nguyen made history when she was elected as the first Asian-American Democratic woman to the Georgia General Assembly. She won the House District 89 seat which was previously held by Stacey Abrams, and now she’s running to be Georgia’s next Secretary of State, joining a crowded field seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Brad Raffensperger.

Nguyen joins Michael Owens, former Fulton County Commission chair John Eaves, and former Milledgeville mayor and state Sen. Floyd L. Griffin Jr. in seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat. Republicans who have already said they are in the race are Raffensperger, U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle, and T.J. Hudson of Treutlen County.

Bee Nguyen

Nguyen, who actually announced she was running in May, describes herself as a leading advocate for voting rights, public education and criminal justice reform. She blasted her colleagues in the state legislature who signed off on SB 202, the state’s election reform bill.

“The bill is based on lies and conspiracy theories; it was borne of this deliberate effort to sow seeds of doubt when it comes to the security of our elections,” she said in an interview following the announcement of her candidacy. “Republicans have said on many occasions that the bill was passed to give voters confidence in our Georgia elections, but what should have happened is Republicans should have told their constituency and their voters that we had a secure and fair election, instead of allowing a lot of misinformation to come to light.”

On her webpage, Nguyen says, “Georgia must be a leader in our country on voting rights, not on voter suppression. As your next Secretary of State, I will prioritize accessibility, efficiency, and equity across all divisions.”

She has said that her primary focus on elections would be increasing training and support for Georgia’s 159 county elections supervisors and boards. Nguyen also says the state should be more proactive in reaching inactive voters before they are removed from the rolls, and push to end the “use it or lose it” provision that kicks people off the active and inactive voter lists after years of non-voting and failure to respond to communications from local election offices.

Nguyen grew up in Augusta and graduated from a Georgia public high school. After she moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia State University, she started a local nonprofit created to educate and empower young women. Her website says she spent a decade in Georgia public high schools, where she learned how to organize with her community and demand change for her students.

She says on her campaign website that her experience running a nonprofit “guides her belief that the other functions of that office (Secretary of State’s office) can do more to proactively help small business owners and others navigate complicated administrative hurdles, for example.”


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