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Stacey Abrams Ends Her Run For Governor Of Georgia


Democrat Stacey Abrams has ended her run for governor of Georgia. From WABE in Atlanta, Jim Burress reports.

JIM BURRESS, BYLINE: During a fiery speech from her campaign headquarters, Stacey Abrams accepted the inevitable.


STACEY ABRAMS: I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

BURRESS: But she was clear in her belief that Kemp didn't win fairly.


ABRAMS: But to watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in the state baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people's democratic right to vote has been truly appalling.

BURRESS: Democrats accuse Kemp of making it harder for minorities to vote in his role as overseer of Georgia's elections. Abrams referred to him as the secretary of suppression. Since election night, Abrams had trailed by a bit more than 1 percent. In hopes of forcing a runoff, she'd appealed to the courts and constituents that every vote should count. Abrams had hoped enough provisional and absentee ballots were out there that, if found uncounted, might tip the scales.


ABRAMS: Make no mistake. The former secretary of state was deliberate and intentional in his actions. I know that eight years of systemic disenfranchisement, disinvestment and incompetence had its desired effect on the electoral process in Georgia.

BURRESS: Since claiming himself the victor the day following the election, Brian Kemp had pressured Abrams to step aside. He called her refusal to do so undemocratic. Following Abrams' speech, Kemp issued a statement, writing he appreciated her, quote, "passion, hard work and commitment to public service." He went on to say the focus going forward shouldn't be on the undeniable political divide that splits Georgians. Instead, Kemp said, the focus should be on the state's bright and promising future.

Stacey Abrams, who would have been the nation's first African-American woman to serve as governor, said she would not be stoic in her defeat. Instead, she said, she'll file a federal lawsuit against Georgia for what she calls, quote, "gross mismanagement of the election." For NPR News, I'm Jim Burress in Atlanta.

(SOUNDBITE OF FLITZ & SUPPE'S "FUNKAHOLIC") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.