Abrams Doesn't Concede to Kemp, Suggests She Can Force a Runoff in Georgia

November 7, 2018

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams did not concede the election to Republican Brian Kemp despite trailing by more than 100,000 votes on Tuesday night, telling supporters there were still votes to be counted.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Kemp led Abrams by roughly 115,000 votes. More importantly, he had 51 percent of the vote; in Georgia, he'll have to get at least 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.

"Tonight, we have closed the gap between yesterday and tomorrow," she told supporters in Atlanta. "But, we still have a few more miles to go."

In a bitter race marked by accusations against Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state, of systematic voter suppression—she made reference without naming Kemp to those who tried to "scare us away" from the ballot box—Abrams said that votes remained to be counted.

"There are voices waiting to be heard," she said. "Across our state, folks are opening up the dreams of voters in absentee ballots, and we believe our chance of a stronger Georgia is just within reach. But, we cannot seize it until all voices are heard, and I promise you tonight that we are going to make sure that every vote is counted."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein reported Abrams' campaign believed there were "tens of thousands of absentee ballots around the state" and that many of them were likely Abrams voters. It cited 45,000 votes in the metro Atlanta counties Cobb and Gwinnett.

Abrams would have to get Kemp below the 50-percent threshold to force a runoff, meaning a huge majority of outstanding votes need to go in her favor.

"To all of Georgia's voters, including the 1.2 million who haven't shown up before, welcome aboard," she said. "If I wasn't your first choice, or if you made no choice at all, you're going to have a chance to do a do-over."

Abrams ran on a progressive agenda while also touting her bipartisan credentials as a member of the Georgia legislature. Kemp embraced President Donald Trump and cast himself as a continuation of outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal's successes.

Abrams was boosted by major celebrities in her bid to make history—she is trying to become the first black female governor in U.S. history—including campaign help she recieved from Oprah Winfrey in the closing days of the campaign. Barring a miracle, however, it looks like she will fall short.

Published under: Georgia , Stacey Abrams