A former Georgia lawmaker and author has taken a major step towards becoming the first ever African-American female governor of a US state.
Stacey Abrams won the Democratic Party primary on Tuesday, telling voters that trying to “convert” Republicans into Democrats had previously failed.
A Democrat has not held the red state’s governor’s mansion since 2003.
Ms Abrams, 44, will face a Republican candidate in the high-stakes mid-term contest in November.
Lt Gov Casey Cagle won the Republican primary on Tuesday, and will face Georgia’s secretary of state Brian Kemp in a run-off on 24 July to decide her eventual opponent.
If elected in the deeply conservative state, Ms Abrams would become the first woman and the first person from an ethnic minority to lead the southern state.
A number of women battled for and won their Democratic Party mid-term bids in Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas, highlighting the strength of female candidates in the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Among the winners was political newcomer Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot, who won a Kentucky primary for a seat in the US Congress.
Politician or romance novelist?
Ms Abrams won the support of Mrs Clinton, who recorded a robocall – an automated telephone call with a recorded message – for the former state House minority leader ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and California Senator Kamala Harris – who are all viewed as possible 2020 presidential contenders – also threw their support behind Ms Abrams.
National organisations including Planned Parenthood, MoveOn and EMILY’s List have also endorsed Ms Abrams.
Aside from her political work, Ms Abrams has written eight romantic suspense novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery.
She wrote her first book, Rules of Engagement, during her third year at Yale Law School and had originally envisioned it as a spy thriller, she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2013.
Turning Georgia blue
The road to the governor’s mansion will not be easy in a state US President Donald Trump won in 2016.
Ms Abrams has come under scrutiny for lending her campaign $50,000 (£37,000) while she owed $50,000 in back taxes, financial disclosures showed.
She penned a piece in Fortune magazine addressing her financial struggles, explaining how her more than $170,000 in student loan and credit card debt and IRS tax payments should not disqualify her as a candidate for Georgia’s governor.