Democrat Stacey Evans will run for an open seat in the Georgia Legislature a year after she waged an unsuccessful campaign for governor, saying the Republican push for anti-abortion restrictions helped convince her to return to elected politics.

Evans told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she’ll seek the seat held by retiring state Rep. Pat Gardner, a heavily Democratic-district in Atlanta. Evans moved from Smyrna to Atlanta shortly after Stacey Abrams defeated her in the 2018 gubernatorial primary.

“I have been watching what’s going on in the state and around the country and I have too much experience to sit on the sidelines during this critical time,” said Evans, an attorney. “And the heartbeat bill was the No. 1 factor. That was the worst thing that’s happened under the Gold Dome since I left.”

First elected to the Legislature in 2010, Evans staked her campaign for governor on a relentless message about restoring the HOPE scholarship. She was one of a handful of House Democrats to oppose the 2011 GOP-backed deal to cut HOPE awards.

It was personal for Evans, who had a tumultuous childhood in rural north Georgia and credited the scholarship with setting her on a successful path. She met her husband at the University of Georgia, where she also earned her law degree and built a network that would propel her to public office.