Political hopefuls aren't usually surprised with large bouquets of roses until after they've won their race, but on Tuesday, one candidate received a handful well before the end of the night. Stacey Abrams was gifted flowers on Election Day, Buzzfeed News reported, by a man who wanted to represent the women in his family who could not be there.
According to Buzzfeed News, 73-year-old Charlie Matthews went to one of Abrams' day-of gubernatorial rallies to show his support. The Buena Vista, Georgia, resident showed up at a local restaurant where the Democratic candidate was talking to a crowd.
Matthews approached Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia's House of Representatives, with a bouquet of roses and baby's breath in hand, saying that the flowers were from the women in his family who have died and did not have the opportunity to see the historic progress that Abrams has made in her political career, according to Alyssa Pointer with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Pointer's tweet showed a picture of Matthews walking up to Abrams with the flowers as Abrams talks from an elevated porch.
"He said that he dedicated the flowers to Abrams on behalf of all the deceased women in his family that did not get to see her make it this far in the Gov. race," Pointer tweeted on Election Day in the afternoon.
If Abrams is elected, she could be the first black woman to become a governor in the history of the United States.
Abrams has been duking it out with GOP candidate and current Secretary of State Brian Kemp for the governor's spot. According to CBS News, exit polls show that the races of the two candidates have a lot to do with how Georgians are voting. Black voters make up about 30 percent of the electorate and white voters around 60 percent, CBS News reported, and so far, Abrams is winning a large majority of black votes at 92 percent with a somewhat similar split for Kemp among white voters at 74 percent.
Exit polls, which are surveys conducted after voters have cast their ballots, are often used by large news organizations in post-election analysis. But they can have reliability issues and shouldn't be taken as definitive proof of voting behavior. In the past, polls have oversampled certain demographics, according to NPR, leading to convoluted or even misleading results.
The heated race between Abrams and Kemp has led to inflammatory actions among certain groups, with one white supremacist group putting out a racist robocall that mocked Abrams and her famous supporter, Oprah Winfrey, CNBC reported. Kemp has said the robocalls were "disgusting" and condemned the group, but his statement didn't convince Abrams, who said it was disturbing that Kemp has "only now suddenly decided to find a conscience" after months of "racist, sexist and inaccurate attacks."
In the days of the election, Kemp's camp called voters making several false claims about Abrams, according to CNN. Among the claims was one accusing Abrams of trying to “steal” the election with undocumented immigrant votes.
Kemp is accused of voter suppression to block minority voters who may cast Democratic ballots, the New York Times reported. Kemp has denied using any sort of suppression tactics. Just a couple days before Election Day, Kemp announced his office was investigating Democrats for an alleged cybersecurity breach and accused the party of trying to hack Georgia's voter registration files, the Times noted. Abrams dubbed the move "desperate" while the Democratic Party said the allegations were "100 percent false."
However the end result, Abrams has already made history by being the first black woman to ever run for governor, something that has resonated with a historically disenfranchised group in America.