Stacey Abrams, who lost the Democrat in Georgia’s governor race, acknowledged on Friday that she could not defeat her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, but vowed she will be filing a federal lawsuit challenging the “gross mismanagement” of the state’s elections.
Abrams said that “the state failed its voters.”
“I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election. But to watch an elected official – who claims to represent the people in this state, baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote – has been truly appalling,” Abrams said. “So let’s be clear, this is not a speech of concession.”
Unofficial returns in the state put Republican Brian Kemp ahead of Abrams with around 50.2 percent of more than 3.9 million votes. This gave him about 18,000 votes above the threshold required to win by a majority and avoid a Dec. 4 runoff.
Brian Kemp issued a statement following his opponent’s announcement, saying she “conceded the race and officially ended her campaign for governor.”
“I appreciate her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service,” the statement said. “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.”
During Abrams concession speech, she also announced her intent to “fight back legally, Abrams’ campaign had contended there were potentially enough uncounted votes to force a runoff.
“In the coming days, we will be filing a major federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections,” she said.
Following her announcement, Abrams’ campaign sent out a news release that reiterated her comments.
“In her remarks, Abrams outlined the gross injustices Georgians faced when trying to cast their ballots during this election and launched Fair Fight Georgia,” the news release said. “This new PAC will pursue accountability in Georgia’s elections and integrity in the process of maintaining our voting rolls.”
“In the coming days, Fair Fight Georgia will be filing a major federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections from unconstitutional actions,” it continued.
After Abrams’ announcement, Hillary Clinton posted a message of support via Twitter.
“Thank you, @StaceyAbrams, for fighting for Georgia and for the integrity of our elections,” Clinton wrote. “Everyone should be able to exercise their right to vote. Every vote should be counted.”
Our fight for full democracy in America must continue, and Stacey is committing to fight for fair elections in Georgia. Let’s join her: https://t.co/kb5b6RhlJt— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 17, 2018
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