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GA-Gov: Secretary of State Brian Kemp steps down after claiming victory in disputed race

Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp resigned on Thursday, one day after declaring victory in his race against Democrat Stacey Abrams for the governor's office. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Georgia's Republican secretary of state, Brian Kemp, stepped down Thursday, after his campaign declared victory for him in the state's gubernatorial race.

His rival, Democrat Stacey Abrams, has refused to concede and is holding out until all ballots are counted in hopes for a runoff election.

What are the details?

As of this writing, Politico showed Kemp with 50.3 percent of the vote, to Abrams' 48.7 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. Georgia law requires the winning candidate to have at least 50 percent of the vote, or a runoff must be held.

Fox News reported that during a news conference Thursday, Kemp said that only about 20,000 provisional ballots remained uncounted. Even if Abrams "got 100 percent of those votes, we still win," Kemp explained.

According to Politico, Kemp has a 62,722-vote lead over Abrams.

The Associated Press has not yet called the election, but Kemp aide Ryan Mahoney told reporters Wednesday, "We are declaring victory."

KTLA-TV reported that campaign official Austin Chambers added, "The message here is pretty simple. This election is over, and the results are clear."

What else?

Abrams is not backing down and told supporters she's holding out for a do-over.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez slammed Kemp for not backing out of his office sooner, saying, "It is grossly unfair to any fox in America to compare Brian Kemp to a fox guarding the hen house. It is much worse in Georgia," according to KTLA.

"I don't think that race is over," Perez continued. "Every vote must be counted, and the integrity of that election is at stake."

Throughout the campaign, Kemp was criticized by Democrats for staying in his role as secretary of state, and overseeing his own election for governor. Five Georgians even filed a lawsuit on Election Day, seeking to prohibit Kemp from participating in the vote count or certifying the results.

Kemp resigned his post shortly before noon Thursday, and an interim secretary will now oversee the final vote count.

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