ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Stacey Abrams has made a decision.
In a tweet, Abrams said that she will not be running against Republican Sen. David Perdue for a U.S. Senate seat in 2020 despite being heavily recruited by national party leaders.
"I'm committed to doing everything I can to help elect a Democrat to that seat next year," Abrams said.
"Make no mistake, Georgia deserves a U.S. Senator who sees and understands the needs of all Georgians," she said. "Someone who won't diminish the real worries of our citizens with insults to excuse his inaction."
Abrams is still considering running for president, though she said Tuesday she's in no hurry to make that call as she continues her advocacy on voting rights and educating citizens ahead of the 2020 census.
I am grateful for all the encouragement I received to run for U.S. Senate, and I’m committed to doing everything I can to help elect a Democrat to that seat next year. #gapol pic.twitter.com/5o14BqgqwO— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) April 30, 2019
Abrams' decision not to run for the Senate deals a blow to Democrats' already slim chances of retaking a Senate majority. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York tried for months to persuade Abrams to seek the seat.
Republicans called Abrams’ decision a setback for Schumer. In a statement, the National Republican Senatorial Committee labeled it an “embarrassing recruiting fail.”
“Her decision is the latest in a string of high-profile Democrats who have rejected Schumer’s pitch out of fear of facing formidable Republican senators next fall,” the committee said.
Since losing her bid to be Georgia's next governor to Republican Brian Kemp, Abrams' star has risen on the national stage.
In March, Georgia's former House minority leader spoke at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and talked about her interest in possibly running for president.
Shortly after that appearance, Abrams tweeted out "2020 is definitely on the table."
In #LeadFromTheOutside, I explore how to be intentional about plans, but flexible enough to adapt. 20 years ago, I never thought I’d be ready to run for POTUS before 2028. But life comes at you fast - as I shared in Q&A w @Yamiche at @sxsw. Now 2020 is definitely on the table...— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) March 11, 2019
A few weeks later in April, Abrams continued that thought, telling FOX 5's Russ Spencer that "everything was on the table" as far as her next political move.
"I don't think you run for an office because it's available, you run because you think you're the best person," she said at that time.
Abrams met Schumer on Monday in Washington, ending months of eager courting by the hard-charging New Yorker looking for another stint as majority leader.
"He was extraordinarily gracious," she told the Associated Press.
National Democrats also had hoped an Abrams candidacy would fuel turnout among young and nonwhite voters to help the party's presidential nominee. Trump won the state by 5 percentage points in 2016 but fell short of a majority.
Schumer began his recruiting effort by inviting Abrams to deliver Democrats' response to Trump's State of the Union address in February, making her the first black woman to give an opposition response and further elevating her status in the party despite her loss.
"I began with skepticism," Abrams said of her deliberations, influenced in part by the years she spent leading the Democratic minority in Georgia's General Assembly.
Abrams said she could envision "the best day and the worst day" in a chamber known for its slow pace and increasingly bitter partisanship.
"But for me, it was what do I do every day, and is this the role I want to play for six years? Is this the role I want to play for 12 years or 18 years?" she said. "Because this is a job, and you focus on not the title but the job itself and the job that has to be done."
Georgia Democrats had been waiting for Abrams' decision, with the presumption that she would have faced no serious primary challenge. Teresa Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, the state's second largest city, has made clear she would seek the seat if Abrams did not. Sarah Riggs Amico, who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor last year, also is considering a bid.
Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Watson quickly reacted to Abrams' statement with a written statement saying quote: "Ms. Abrams came to the conclusion she couldn't beat Senator Perdue and, for a change we agree on something. No matter which Democrat emerges I am as confident as ever that Georgia will return David Perdue to the United States Senate."
The Georgia Gang's Tharon Johnson and Phil Kent believe Abrams is seriously considering a run for president or taking on Governor Brian Kemp again in 2022.
"I think she felt that Senator David Perdue is too strong, the incumbency is too powerful. She probably thought 'I can't afford to have a loss' in a 2020 Senate race", Kent said.
Johnson said he is disappointed Abrams isn't running for Senate in 2020 but believes sitting out of the 2020 Senate race could pay off for Abrams in the long run.
"In 2022 I think she knows that the changing demographics in this state may be better for her than they will be in 2020."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.