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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.

Confirmed Cases: 31257

Reported Deaths: 1114
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds253640
DeSoto162016
Madison131434
Jones112849
Neshoba99271
Rankin95112
Harrison93311
Lauderdale91079
Forrest87842
Scott77315
Jackson63816
Copiah60715
Washington5919
Leake57819
Holmes55741
Lee55219
Wayne54513
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51618
Yazoo5136
Lowndes49413
Leflore49151
Grenada4905
Lincoln46634
Lamar4657
Pike44112
Monroe40330
Sunflower4008
Lafayette3934
Attala36123
Covington3595
Panola3526
Bolivar34014
Newton3399
Simpson3233
Adams31318
Pontotoc2926
Tate28810
Marion28411
Chickasaw27918
Claiborne27910
Noxubee2678
Winston2666
Jasper2636
Pearl River25732
Clay25111
Marshall2343
Smith21811
Union2109
Clarke20724
Walthall2045
Coahoma2016
Kemper17914
Lawrence1782
Yalobusha1737
Carroll16611
Humphreys1509
Tallahatchie1374
Itawamba1368
Montgomery1352
Calhoun1324
Tippah13111
Hancock13013
Webster12710
Jefferson Davis1124
Jefferson1083
Prentiss1083
Greene1058
Tunica1053
Wilkinson949
Amite912
George893
Tishomingo831
Quitman780
Choctaw744
Alcorn712
Perry674
Stone651
Franklin452
Benton380
Sharkey380
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 44375

Reported Deaths: 984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5410152
Montgomery4158103
Mobile4129134
Tuscaloosa232142
Marshall172410
Madison14917
Lee141137
Shelby133423
Morgan11215
Walker97824
Elmore94314
Franklin89814
Baldwin8949
Dallas8919
Etowah75013
DeKalb7375
Chambers64227
Butler63428
Autauga61012
Tallapoosa60569
Russell5650
Houston5074
Unassigned50323
Limestone5010
Lauderdale4966
Lowndes47221
Cullman4594
Pike4375
Colbert4086
St. Clair4022
Escambia3966
Coffee3812
Calhoun3765
Covington3707
Bullock36910
Barbour3532
Talladega3177
Hale31421
Marengo31211
Dale2990
Wilcox2948
Sumter28512
Jackson2842
Clarke2776
Winston2633
Chilton2522
Blount2431
Monroe2392
Pickens2366
Marion23313
Conecuh2107
Randolph2099
Macon1999
Choctaw19512
Bibb1941
Greene1868
Perry1791
Henry1363
Crenshaw1253
Washington1117
Lawrence1100
Cherokee1027
Geneva830
Lamar781
Fayette711
Clay692
Coosa591
Cleburne381
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