Published: Sat, November 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Stacey Abrams acknowledges Brian Kemp will win Georgia gubernatorial race

Stacey Abrams acknowledges Brian Kemp will win Georgia gubernatorial race

The race remains uncalled more than a week after Election Day, though Republican opponent Brian Kemp has declared victory and already taken steps to assume the governorship, beginning with his resignation as Georgia secretary of state.

But in a fiery speech, Abrams insisted this was no normal concession, decrying the voter suppression - at the hands of Kemp, the former secretary of state - she believed had led to this conclusion.

Democrats are now using the "stolen election" tactic President Donald Trump and other Republicans have used in recent years, The Washington Post is reporting.

Abrams had previously described Kemp as an "architect of voter suppression" and in her remarks said he had purposefully made the process a "gut-wrenching hardship" for many in Georgia.

Campaign: Democrat candidate Stacey Abrams. The final result had been in doubt for 10 days after the election.

"Since the beginning, our campaign has been dedicated to lifting up the voices of every community", Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams' campaign manager, said in a statement early on Friday.

An Associated Press investigation last month claimed that Kemp's office had 53,000 voter registration applicants still pending, 70 percent of whom were African-American. His campaign aides spent much of this week attacking Democratic efforts in court, while Abrams picked up a series of important, if not ultimately pivotal, legal victories. Kemp now has 50.2 percent of the vote and 18,000 more votes than he needs to avoid a run-off.

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Ricardel had previously worked as an undersecretary of commerce and had also held positions at the State and Defense departments. As the statement was issued, Ricardel was standing, smiling, alongside President Donald Trump at an event in the Roosevelt Room.

That was the earliest state officials could certify the results after a court-ordered review of absentee, provisional and other uncounted ballots. This means that if Abrams' team can show that there was enough interference/irregularities to suppress the votes of 18,000 voters, either via tossed ballots or simple barriers that prevented them from voting, she could have a solid case.

"In accepting Abrams' decision to end her campaign, Kemp said he appreciated "her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service".

This combination of May 20, 2018, photos shows Georgia gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams, left, and Brian Kemp in Atlanta. A judge could declare a victor, order a later runoff, or, in the most extreme situation, declare the entire election invalid and instruct the state to hold another.

The potential action came as Georgia election officials appeared to be close to calling the race for Kemp.

"We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia's bright and promising future", he said shortly after Ms Abrams' speech.

Her strategy of running as an unapologetic liberal who attracts new voters to the polls resonated in a rapidly changing state. Now, Trump will be able to return with an incumbent governor as he seeks a second term. Instead, Republicans will point to that same economic success as a sustaining force and question - along with some Democrats - the wisdom of Abrams' embrace of so many national liberal political stars.

She called him "deliberate and intentional" in his actions and said eight years of divestment, disenfranchisement and incompetence had their desired effect. The next big shot for Democrats is a 2020 Senate race, with Republican Sen.

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