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Democrat Stacey Abrams says she won't concede Georgia gubernatorial race, hopes for runoff

Stacey Abrams remains defiant after conceding without calling it conceding. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is refusing to concede the race to Republican Brian Kemp, despite the fact multiple outlets have projected him the winner in Tuesday's election.

Abrams told her supporters on Wednesday morning that she planned to hold out until every vote in the state was counted and is hoping for a runoff election.

What are the details?

At the time of this writing, CNN's election results show Kemp has 50.4 percent of the vote with 99 percent of Georgia's precincts reporting, compared to Abrams' 48.7 percent.

In order to win the governorship, state law requires that the winning candidate maintain at least 50 percent of the vote — or face a runoff election next month.

"I'm here tonight to tell you votes remain to be counted. There's voices that are waiting to be heard," Abrams told supporters early Wednesday morning.



Georgia State University political science professor Jennifer McCoy told Time that Abrams has a point. Abrams is "not refusing [to concede] on the basis of nothing," McCoy said. "She's just saying, 'Let's wait until we actually count every last ballot. Even if [Kemp's percentage drops to] 49.9 percent, it would go to a run-off."

What's the background?

Kemp is currently Georgia's secretary of state and was accused of suppressing minority votes after several citizens had their voter registration status flagged under the state's "exact match" law earlier this year.

On Election Day, five Georgians filed a last-minute lawsuit in an attempt to prevent Kemp from participating in the vote count or certifying the results of the state's midterms, given his position.

An attorney for the plaintiffs, Bryan Sells, explained the reasoning behind the lawsuit to Time, saying, "Allowing one of the candidates to not just preside over their own election but misuse their office to give them an unfair advantage is just anti-democratic and unlawful."

If victorious, Abrams would be the first African-American woman to become a governor in the U.S. She received a rare endorsement from media mogul and Georgia native Oprah Winfrey, who campaigned for Abrams last week after being inspired by her run.



Anything else?

Kemp, 55, is a home builder who served in the Georgia State Senate from 2003 to 2007, and was appointed Secretary of State by former Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2010. He won a full term later that year, and was re-elected in 2014.

Abrams, 44, is a graduate of Yale Law School, a published author, and founder of the New Georgia Project, which has assisted more than 200,000 voters to register in the state. She became the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly in 2010.

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