ATLANTA — Ahead by more than 60,000 votes days after Georgia’s gubernatorial election, Republican Brian Kemp pushed for Democrat Stacey Abrams to concede Saturday as civil rights groups urged her to stay in the fight.
Kemp’s campaign issued a statement that said it was mathematically impossible for Abrams to even force a runoff, much less win outright. It called Abrams’ refusals to concede “a disgrace to democracy” that “completely ignore the will of the people.”
But members of civil rights groups including the Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a small rally urging Abrams to keep fighting until every vote is counted.
“That is a promise she made,” said Ben Williams, president of the Cobb County branch of the SCLC, founded by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Erick Allen, a Black Democrat newly elected to the Georgia House, said allegations of voter suppression and questions about Election Day problems could dog Kemp as governor if he eventually prevails.
Abrams is trying to become the first Black woman elected governor in the United States, while Kemp is attempting to continue GOP dominance in a diversifying state that could be a battleground in the 2020 presidential election.
Unofficial returns show Kemp with 50.3 per cent of almost 4 million total votes, a roughly 63,000-vote lead over Abrams. The margin is enough for an outright Kemp victory if totals remain the same, but it’s a tight race considering the large turnout. Abrams has argued that tens of thousands of provisional and military ballots could need to be counted before the race is over.