Politics

Graham Challenger: Stacey Abrams’s Loss Was ‘Criminal’

Abrams has refused to accept the results of the 2018 election

South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison on Tuesday claimed failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams's loss last year was "criminal."

Harrison, who is running to challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) next year, was speaking at a meet-and-greet event in Charleston, S.C. when he made the comment about Abrams, who has repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of her election. She lost the race by 54,723 votes to Republican Brian Kemp but alleges foul play in the form of voter suppression.

"What happened in Georgia is criminal and I can tell you one of the first pieces of legislation that I'll offer in the United States Senate is to make sure that there are severe criminal penalties to any elected official who tries to propose legislation or what have you that prevents people from exercising their God-given right to exercise their franchise in this country," Harrison said.

"It is criminal that it is done. We see it happening all across the state. We see it happening all across the country, and enough it enough," Harrison continued.

Abrams, who has ruled out a 2020 presidential run but is still open to being a nominee for vice president, has refused to accept defeat in her gubernatorial election last November. Back in March, she was asked if she would ever concede the Georgia gubernatorial election, prompting her to say, "No." She also claimed, "I did win my election," adding, "I just didn't get to have the job."

She would go on to reiterate her attacks on the electoral system in April, describing what she believed to be a "stolen election," according to the Washington Free Beacon. Abrams's claim does not hold well under scrutiny, since voter turnout greatly increased in the election where she claimed voters were suppressed.

"Despite the final tally and the inauguration [of Gov. Kemp] and the situation we find ourselves in, I do have a very affirmative statement to make: We won," she told the crowd at the National Action Network's annual convention.

Abrams appeared in an episode of American Swamp on MSNBC earlier this month, where she said, "I think the election was stolen from the people of Georgia."

"I don't know that empirically I would have won, but if you add together the thousands of people who faced extraordinarily long lines, who faced hurdles that should not happen in a democracy, the votes that we know were not counted, the secretary of state, who was also my opponent in the race, purged more than 1.4 million voters over basically an eight-year period," Abrams said.

Harrison has praised Abrams multiple times on Twitter and said he was "heartbroken" when she ended her challenge against Kemp in mid-November. He also called her a "superstar" back in February.