Obama AG Eric Holder Says Stacey Abrams Won Georgia Gov. Election

Eric Holder / Getty Images
April 17, 2019

Former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder said he believes Stacey Abrams (D.) won the Georgia governor's race in 2018, where the final certified election results showed Republican Brian Kemp winning with 55,000 more votes.

"I tend to think Stacey Abrams won that election, you know?" Holder said to The Root.

In making that claim, Holder echoed other prominent Democrats in suggesting that Kemp's role as secretary of state was a factor in the outcome.

"I think the way it was conducted, the – her opponent remaining as secretary of state, basically being the referee until about the last week of the election, certainly gave the appearance of unfairness, and I think it was unfairness."

Abrams has never conceded the race, and has also maintained on several occasions that she won.

Also speaking to The Root, Abrams placed some blame on media coverage for how the election turned out.

"I would attribute it less to racism and more to a very narrow and immature ability to navigate the story of my campaign," Abrams said. "I was doing a number of things that were new and different and discomforting to some. But what was worse was that, for a lot of those folks, they could not comprehend how all of these things could be true at the exact same moment. I wouldn't necessarily ascribe any racial animus as much as I would a lack of—there was some incompetence in the coverage that was problematic."

Other Democrats who have said they believe Abrams won include Ohio senator Sherrod Brown and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren.

Abrams and Holder were linked to a controversy just weeks before the election when Holder, campaigning for Abrams, said, "Michelle [Obama] always says, 'When they go low, we go high.' No. No. When they go low, we kick 'em."

"I think there's a hyperbolic moment that happens in every campaign," Abrams said later on NBC's Meet the Press.

Abrams is still deciding on a possible senate run in 2020 in which she would face incumbent Republican David Perdue.

Holder, meanwhile, has said he will not run for president, and is focusing on a political action committee to undo what he claims are Republican efforts to "rig" elections through gerrymandering.