With Georgia's Abrams out, former mayor announces Senate bid

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Democrat and former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson says she's officially running for the U.S. Senate in 2020, just one day after fellow Democrat Stacey Abrams announced she wouldn't run.

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Tomlinson announced her candidacy on Wednesday for the seat now held by incumbent Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue, who in his first term has emerged as a close ally of President Donald Trump.

Tomlinson had previously signaled that she'd run only if Abrams, who grabbed national attention during her unsuccessful run for Georgia governor last year, was out.

In her announcement, Tomlinson took aim at Republican leaders, saying she wants to see a government in Washington "without all the crazy and the mean."

In an interview Wednesday, Tomlinson pointed to the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the southern border and what she called a "tariff wars on our own farmers" as two examples of what she meant.

Tomlinson said that one of the main focuses of her campaign would be on "financial infrastructure," which she described as an effort to bolster "the framework in which citizens can live their most prosperous life." That will include talking about expansion of health care options, reducing pay inequity and student debt relief, she said.

Republicans hold a 53-47 Senate majority and Abrams had been heavily recruited by Democratic party leaders to run. Her decision not to was a high-profile recruiting blow to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who needs to flip a number of Republican seats seen as potentially vulnerable to win a new majority in 2020.

Tomlinson's campaign said she raised $265,000 within hours of Abrams bowing out.

The 54-year-old Tomlinson served two terms as mayor of Columbus, Georgia's second largest city. She touts reducing crime, reforming budgeting and connecting neighborhoods with trails for walking and biking as accomplishments of her tenure.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee called Tomlinson a "second-tier" candidate and part of a "JV-team primary," while praising Purdue in an email Wednesday.