Abrams acknowledges Kemp win in Georgia race

Democrat Stacey Abrams said she acknowledges that Republican Brian Kemp will become the next governor of Georgia. Abrams' announcement comes after days of post-election legal maneuvering from her campaign and allies as they sought to find enough votes to reduce Kemp's lead and force a December 4 runoff.

Posted: Nov 18, 2018 8:23 AM
Updated: Nov 18, 2018 8:51 AM

Democrat Stacey Abrams on Friday acknowledged that Republican Brian Kemp will become the next governor of Georgia, ending her bid to become the first African American woman elected to lead a state.

The announcement followed more than a week of post-election legal maneuvering from her campaign and allies as they sought to find enough votes to reduce Kemp's lead and force a December 4 runoff.

Abrams was considering further legal challenges as recently as Friday morning, but ultimately made the decision to end her campaign in a fiery speech to supporters at her headquarters in Atlanta. She did, however, announce plans for a "major federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections from unconstitutional actions."

Even in acknowledging defeat, Abrams insisted her speech was not giving a concession and instead delivered a series of sharp criticisms of Kemp.

"So let's be clear -- this is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper," she said. "As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that. But, my assessment is the law currently allows no further viable remedy. Now, I can certainly bring a new case to keep this one contest alive, but I don't want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post. Because the title of governor isn't nearly as important as our shared title -- voters. And that is why we fight on."

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.

"Under the watch of the now former secretary of state, democracy failed Georgia," Abrams said of Kemp, who served as the state's chief elections officer for nearly a decade before resigning after overseeing his own contest.

"Make no mistake, the former secretary of state was deliberate and intentional in his actions," Abrams said. "I know that eight years of systemic disenfranchisement, disinvestment and incompetence had its desired affect on the electoral process in Georgia."

Abrams also announced she will launch a new voting rights group called "Fair Fight Georgia."

Earlier in the day, Abrams' campaign rolled out a digital ad -- with nearly $100,000 behind it, according to a spokeswoman -- that asks voters to share their stories of trouble at the polls.

In a statement, Kemp said, "Moments ago, Stacey Abrams conceded the race and officially ended her campaign for governor. I appreciate her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service."

He continued, "The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward. We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia's bright and promising future."

The Georgia race has stoked a fierce new front in the national battle over voting rights and access to the polls. Kemp, who has promoted and enforced some of the nation's most restrictive voting laws, was accused repeatedly before and during the campaign of seeking to suppress the minority vote.

His victory will keep the Georgia governor's mansion in GOP hands for a fifth consecutive term and demoralize Democrats who hoped to put the state on the presidential map in 2020. Abrams would have been Georgia's and the country's first female African American governor and the first Democrat to win a statewide race there since 2000.

Victory for her pioneering campaign would have instantly transformed Georgia into a 2020 presidential swing state and signaled the beginnings of a potential political realignment in region, which has been growing more diverse and educated as its economy expanded. 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.

Kemp's win will also please President Donald Trump, who disparaged Abrams, a former state House minority leader, as "not qualified" before the election and campaigned for the two-term secretary of state.

Polling in the days leading up the race showed a dead-heat between Abrams and Kemp, with libertarian candidate Ted Metz notching just enough support to deny the either of the favorites the majority required by Georgia law to win outright and avoid a December run-off. But Kemp ended up clearing 50%.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
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