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Mackinac Island — Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams demurred when asked Wednesday at the Mackinac Policy Conference whether she intended to run for the Democratic presidential ticket.

WDIV Anchor Devin Scillian, a moderator for Abrams’ address, joked that one couldn’t “swing a stick” without hitting a Democratic presidential candidate and asked whether he’d hit one on the Grand Hotel's stage that day.

“I’m going to respond with civil silence,” Abrams said.

The Associated Press reported in April that the 45-year-old former Georgia House minority leader doesn't expect to decide on a presidential bid until the fall because "the average voter is not paying attention until Labor Day."

Abrams is one of three keynote speakers at the Mackinac Policy Conference. Republican former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are expected to speak Thursday.

Abrams lost to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp by more than 54,700 votes in 2018 but refused to concede the race. "Despite the final tally and the inauguration and the situation we find ourselves in, I do have very affirmative statement to make: We won," she told the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network annual conference in April. 

At the Mackinac event, Abrams said she was not contesting the election results, but questioning an electoral process that she considered unfair.

Abrams stressed civility during her Wednesday talk, noting various issues that required as much during her time in the Legislature and her unsuccessful campaign for governor.

“You don’t have to have common belief but, you can have common goals,” Abrams said, who blamed cable news for some of the current division resulting from the constant commentary on the process.

The first African-American woman to receive a major party nomination for governor, Abrams said she prefers her moment in history to her parents' but said much more change is needed.

“We should celebrate the process, but we should also bemoan how long it takes us to make that progress,” she said.

eleblanc@detroitnews.com

(517) 371-3661

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