Stacey Abrams Ends Her Bid For Governor, But Refuses To Concede
“Let’s be clear. This is not a speech of concession,” Abrams said in a speech on Friday. “Because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that. But my assessment is the law currently allows no further viable remedy.”
Her speech marked the end of a campaign that aimed to make Abrams the first black woman governor in the nation’s history. The former Georgia State Representative had hoped to break the 16 year hold Republicans have maintained in the state’s highest office.
Her announcement comes as the state’s election officials prepare to certify the results of the November 6 vote which saw Kemp beat Abrams by around 55,000 votes.
Prior to the announcement, members of Abrams’ campaign had floated the idea of launching a legal challenge of the election results under a law that gives losing candidate the right to contest an election in the case of voting “irregularities.”
Had the long-shot lawsuit been filed, members of Abrams’ campaign would have to prove that there were close to 18,000 ballots not counted by election officials due to broken voting machines, under-supplied polling places, or unfairly disenfranchised Abrams voters.
Had her campaign been able to prove this in court, the Georgia law would have forced the two leading candidates to face off in a runoff election, but she was ultimately convinced not to proceed for fears of jeopardizing the campaigns of the two other Democrats currently facing runoffs in December.
“Now, I could 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,” Abrams said.” Because the title of governor isn’t nearly as important as our shared title: voters.”
Kemp thanked Abrams for her “passion, hard work and commitment to public service,” shortly after her speech, a sharp change in tone for the former Georgia Secretary of State who had described Abrams in divisive and combative terms during the election.
“I certainly appreciate Stacey Abrams’ tenacity, how hard she worked, the campaign she ran,” Kemp said during a new conference in Atlanta. “The fact of the matter is the election is now over and I’ve got to focus on governing this state.”