Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is refusing to accept Republican rival Brian Kemp’s declaration of victory in the Georgia gubernatorial race and is considering legal action in the high-profile contest.
“Our opponent has had his office declare himself the victor and we do not accept that,” the Abrams campaign said in a phone call with reporters Wednesday evening.
CNN has not projected a winner in the race. Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, is currently ahead of Abrams by nearly 63,000 votes with 99% of precincts reporting, according to CNN election results. He has 50.3% of the vote, Abrams has 48.7% and Libertarian candidate Ted Metz has 0.9%. If no candidate receives 50%, there will be a runoff in early December.
“Based on counts released by the Secretary of State’s office, Brian Kemp’s margin is so large that the number of provisional ballots and overseas ballots will not change his Election Day victory,” Cody Hall, the Kemp campaign’s press secretary, had said in a statement earlier Wednesday. “Simply put, it is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win or force a run-off election.”
Hall also said Kemp will begin his transition Thursday with Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.
The Abrams campaign told reporters that it is continuing efforts to make sure all votes are counted and is looking at litigation and other kinds of action it could take.
Abrams’ campaign is also asking for Kemp’s secretary of state office to be transparent about how many ballots have not yet been counted. It told reporters it won’t accept the secretary of state’s data on outstanding ballots without evidence.
“They are trying to force an outcome … without proof … and expecting everyone to go along with it,” the campaign said.
Early Wednesday morning at her election watch party in Atlanta, Abrams would not concede the race, saying that “votes remain to be counted.”