Brian Kemp declares victory in Georgia governor race as Stacey Abrams waits for results


Republican Brian Kemp has declared victory in the Georgia governor’s race with election results showing him with a narrow lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams and all but a few precincts reporting complete results.

But the Abrams campaign said Wednesday it would not concede and hopes that thousands of absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted contained enough votes to force a runoff election or recount.

A spokesman for the Kemp campaign said in a statement Wednesday evening that with Kemp ahead 64,000 votes, outstanding provisional and overseas ballots would not make a difference.

“Simply put, it is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win or force a run-off election,” Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said in a statement. “Peach State voters made a clear decision at the ballot box. Brian Kemp will now begin his transition as governor-elect of Georgia. He will work every day to keep our state moving in the right direction.”

Kemp holds a two-point lead over Abrams with all precincts reporting. Abrams’ hope was to close the gap by some 15,000 votes, enough to deny Kemp an outright majority and force a head-to-head runoff on Dec. 4.

Abrams campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said Wednesday evening the campaign was working to ensure every vote was counted, even if that leads to a lawsuit.

“We know our opponent has had the secretary of state’s office declare he is the winner. We are here to say we don’t accept that,” she said, adding the campaign was examining “every option” to ensure the race was fair.

Groh-Wargo said while the secretary of state has released numbers, the campaign has asked for the proof behind the data and received silence from the office, which Kemp heads.

She called his overseeing of the election a “conflict of interest” and said Kemp was using his position as secretary of state as “an arm of his campaign apparatus.”

Groh-Wargo said they were blindsided by Kemp’s claim of victory when she says there are at least 25,000 provisional and mail-in ballots remain uncounted. They said they were unsure of how many absentee ballots remain but the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office said Wednesday afternoon that less than 3,000 “non-provisional” ballots were outstanding.

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