Democrat Stacey Abrams ended her gubernatorial bid in Georgia on Friday, acknowledging that Republican Brian Kemp will become the state’s governor, according to CNN. The nominee’s announcement comes after an intense 10 days of post-election legal challenges by her legal team who hoped to force a runoff in December.
The Democrat had reportedly been debating futher legal challenges this morning. A long-shot strategy reported by the Associated Press that would allow Abrams to challenge the election results based on “misconduct, fraud or irregularities.”
Ultimately, Abrams conceded that there was no path to victory for the campaign at this point.
“So 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 in a concession speech. “As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that. But, my assessment is the law currently allows no further viable remedy. Now, I can certainly bring a new case to keep this one contest alive, but I don’t want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post. Because the title of governor isn’t nearly as important as our shared title — voters. And that is why we fight on.”
Abrams has been fiercely critical of the newly-elected governor, Brian Kemp, criticizing his actions as secretary of state that appeared to be attempts at suppressing unfriendly voters. In her speech, Abrams said that Kemp had purposefully made the process of voting as difficult as possible for many people. She also said that the former secretary of state was “deliberate” and “intentional” in his attempts to disenfranchise voters as he oversaw the results of his own election.
“Democracy failed Georgia,” she said.
Kemp was quick to accept her concession. He released a statement shortly after Abrams conceded the race saying that he appreciated her passion and commitment.
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. #gapol (1 of 3)
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) November 16, 2018
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
“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,” he continued. “We will be a state that puts hardworking Georgians – no matter their zip code or political preference — first!”
The election brought the debate over voting rights and the appearance of free and fair elections in the United States to the forefront.