Abrams Still Refuses to Accept Defeat in Georgia Governor's Race: 'I Did Win My Election'

Georgia gubernatorial candidates (L-R) Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp (Photo by John Bazemore-Pool/Getty Images)
March 15, 2019

Vanquished Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D.) boasted about never conceding her race against Gov. Brian Kemp (R.) Thursday and claimed "I did win my election."

Abrams never officially conceded defeat in her bitterly fought race with Kemp, claiming the former secretary of state in Georgia engaged in systematic voter suppression—although the number of voters participating in the governor's race nearly doubled from 2014 to 2018—and claimed it was not a "free or fair election."

At an event Thursday, Abrams was asked by a tracker if she would ever concede to Kemp. She appeared to remain silent, but she said inside that she'd told the tracker "no."

"I did win my election," she said, according to ABC News reporter Adam Kelsey. "I just didn't get to have the job."

Other prominent Democrats have also claimed the race was stolen from Abrams, although she lost by nearly 55,000 votes and couldn't get the race to a runoff. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said the evidence suggested the race was stolen by Kemp, and Hillary Clinton and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) made similar claims.

However, it was Clinton who claimed during her 2016 campaign against Donald Trump that he would potentially not accept defeat.

"One of our hallmarks has always been that we accept the outcomes of our elections," she said.

Abrams claimed Kemp's office put 53,000 votes "on hold," but the allegation was deceptive, the Washington Free Beacon reported. They were not purged from voter rolls but rather placed in "pending" status because of violations of state "exact match" laws. Some of those violations appeared to be by a voter-registration group started by Abrams:

The Wall Street Journal observed that Abrams, herself, may hold some responsibility for the significant number of voters labeled with a "pending" status prior to the election.

"The [exact match] law was intended to prevent groups from sloppily filling out applications for individuals, as Ms. Abrams’s New Georgia Project appears to have done," the paper’s editorial board wrote.

Abrams has seen her party star rise since she narrowly missed out on becoming the first black female governor in the nation's history. Georgia Democrats are recruiting her for a 2020 Senate run against Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) and she's still mulling a potential 2020 presidential run.