Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams has ended her candidacy in the race for governor of Georgia.
She says she cannot win against Republican Brian Kemp but intends to file a federal lawsuit to challenge the “gross mismanagement” of Georgia elections.
Abrams held a brief press conference early Friday evening to make the announcement.
“Let’s be clear, this is not a speech of concession. Because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper,” she said. “As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that. But my assessment is the law currently allows no further viable remedy.”
The Abrams campaign has had nearly three dozen lawyers working on the potential cases and considering various options in the race. Several lawsuits were filed related to claims that provisional paper ballots were illegally disqualified and voters were turned away from the polls.
Early Friday morning, The Associated Press reported the candidate considered an unprecedented legal challenge that could leave the state’s Supreme Court to decide whether to force another round of voting.
Instead, Abrams announced she will launch “Fair Fight Georgia” a new PAC which will “pursue accountability in Georgia’s elections and integrity in the process of maintaining our voting rolls.”
The PAC is expected to file a federal lawsuit against the state to challenge the midterm election in Georgia and “protect future elections from unconstitutional actions.”
“I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election,” Abrams said on Friday. “But to watch an elected official – who claims to represent the people of this state, baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote – has been truly appalling.”
In response to Abrams statement, Kemp issued the following on Friday:
“Moments ago, Stacey Abrams conceded the race and officially ended her campaign for governor. I appreciate her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service.
The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward. We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future.
Under the leadership of Governors Perdue and Deal, our state has experienced unmatched growth and prosperity. We will work diligently in the transition process to build on their accomplishments and keep Georgia moving in the right direction.
I humbly ask for citizens of our great state to stand with me in the days ahead. Together, we will realize the opportunities and tackle the challenges to come. We will be a state that puts hardworking Georgians – no matter their zip code or political preference – first!”
Unofficial returns show Kemp with 50.22 percent of more than 3.9 million votes and Abrams with 48.83 percent.