Stacey Abrams Ends Bid To Become U.S.' First Black Woman Governor
"I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial elections," Abrams said.
After a hard-fought 10-day battle to secure the highest office in the state, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams exited the race on Friday. Her decision makes her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, the governor-elect.
According to NBC News, during a speech to thousands of supporters Friday afternoon, Abrams said, "I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial elections."
Abrams added she was not conceding, but instead acknowledging the reality of things. In her remarks, she condemned Kemp for remaining secretary of state during the election in his favor and accused him of using the office to execute several acts of deliberate voter suppression.
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"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," she said. "So let’s be clear: This is not a speech of concession."
When polls closed the evening of November 6, the race was deemed too close to call. Abrams spent the days following the election fighting to have absentee and irregular ballots included in official vote totals.
With a 5 p.m. Friday deadline for all of Georgia's counties to confirm their election results, her chances to find more votes were fading.
The Associated Press reported early Friday Abrams' campaign was preparing for an unprecedented legal challenge that could leave the Georgia Supreme Court deciding whether to force another round of voting. However, The Hill reports Abrams told supporters during her speech she sees "no legal path forward" and has no plans to "scheme" her way into the governor's mansion using the courts.
NPR reports Abrams' effort is the closest any Georgia Democratic candidate has come to winning a gubernatorial race. Kemp barely won, taking in about 50.2 percent of the vote.
Had she won, Abrams would have been the United States' first Black woman governor.
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