Georgia’s governor race is not over yet.
As results are pouring in from Tuesday’s midterm elections, Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams told her supporters early Wednesday morning that she wouldn’t be conceding to Republican candidate Brian Kemp, despite Kemp’s reported lead over Abrams at 50.6 percent to 48.5 percent (with 97 percent of precincts reporting).
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“I’m here to tell you tonight that votes remain to be counted,” Abrams, 44, told her supporters in Atlanta, Fox News reported.
“Tonight we have closed a gap between yesterday and tomorrow, but we still have a few more miles to go,” Abrams added. “Across our state, folks are opening up the dreams of voters in absentee ballots, and we believe our chance for a stronger Georgia is just within reach. But we cannot seize it until all voices are heard. And I promise you tonight, we’re going to make sure that every vote is counted.”
Her campaign expanded more on the fight in a statement to CNN, explaining that seven counties in Georgia made up of “heavily-Democratic leaning constituencies” have yet to report their full findings and “are expected to return a minimum of 77,000 ballots.” That includes three of Georgia’s largest counties, which “reported only a portion of the votes that were submitted by early mail,” and four other counties which “have reported exactly 0 votes by mail,” CNN reported.
Absentee ballots also haven’t been counted, something the campaign told CNN they anticipated would be “another major pickup opportunity for Abrams.”
There’s a lot on the line for Abrams. If she wins, she’ll be the first black female governor in American history, and also the first Democrat to win Georgia’s governor’s race in two decades.
Georgia’s governor has been a Republican since 2003, and it’s gone red in presidential elections since 1992. Still, Georgia is becoming more Democratic because of changing demographics, particularly in the Atlanta area, according to political experts.
Meanwhile, if neither candidate earns more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be another first for Georgia: the first general election gubernatorial runoff in the state’s history. The runoff election would be held Dec. 4, NBC News reported.
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Abrams captured national attention with her campaign, which received celebrity support from the likes of Will Ferrell and Oprah Winfrey — both of whom went door-to-door stumping for the candidate in the weeks leading up to the midterm elections.
Vice President Mike Pence vouched for Kemp, who ran as a Republican in support of Trump. “I’ve got a big truck just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take them home myself,” Kemp said in a campaign ad that went wide during the primaries.
Kemp’s campaign has been embattled in controversy. As the current secretary of state in Georgia, Kemp’s position allowed him to oversee elections in the state and Democrats accused him of disenfranchising voters. Days before Election Day, he accused the Georgia Democratic Party of “possible cyber crimes” — something they have denied.