Abrams Compares Loss to Kemp in Georgia to Bad No-Call by Refs in Saints-Rams Game

Campaign manager: 'We are going to give Brian Kemp living hell'

Georgia gubernatorial candidates (L-R) Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp shake hands before a debate in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by John Bazemore-Pool/Getty Images)

The bitterness over the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race has not come anywhere close to subsiding, if new remarks by Stacey Abrams are any indication.

Abrams lost to Republican Brian Kemp in one of the closest governor's races in decades in November, and she derided the election as not being "free and fair," accused Kemp of systematic voter suppression as secretary of state, and refused to recognize his win as legitimate. She harkened back to the controversial NFC Championship game to further protest her loss on Monday to a crowd in Albany, Georgia.

"If you saw yesterday’s playoff game between the [Los Angeles] Rams and the [New Orleans] Saints, there was a call that should have been made and folks are righteously indignant," she said in remarks flagged by The Daily Caller. "There was a call that should have been made a long time ago in Georgia—you don’t get to be the referee and the player."

She referred to referees not calling pass interference on Sunday when Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman ran into Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis in the closing minutes of the game, which was tied 20-20. Had the call been made, the Saints would have had a critical first down and likely would have won. Instead, the Saints and Rams traded late field goals, and the Rams won the game in overtime to reach the Super Bowl.

Abrams' defense of the Saints could raise eyebrows in Georgia. The Atlanta Falcons are Georgia's NFL team and the Saints' most hated rival, although it's worth nothing many former New Orleans residents relocated to Georgia in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

While considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2020 against Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.), Abrams has maintained her focus on Kemp, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. She is still using language that suggests she was cheated out of the win, although the voter turnout and the facts on the ground belie her case.

"I am running for office again," she said. "I don’t know for what."

If she were to run for the Democratic Senate nomination, she would almost surely clear the field of any challengers, given her strong state infrastructure left over from her gubernatorial campaign.

Abrams founded a voting rights group called Fair Fight Action to improve elections and increase turnout in Georgia. Her 2018 campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, is the group's executive director and promised to keep holding Kemp's feet to the fire.

"We are going to give Brian Kemp living hell," she said. "Because I got news: Georgians want to know their votes count."