Republican Brian Kemp will be the next governor of Georgia, with Democrat Stacey Abrams admitting Friday afternoon following a bitter 10-day battle since Election Day that there was no path to victory.
Georgia authorities say a senator arrested at a state Capitol demonstration over uncounted election ballots was charged with obstruction because she helped create "a human wall" that hindered police. She detailed on Friday afternoon the ways in which Kemp, who oversaw his own election as Georgia's secretary of state, purged eligible voters from the rolls. Mr Kemp's campaign said even if every vote that Ms Abrams campaign is arguing for is granted by the courts and counted for her, she can not overcome his lead or force a run-off.
"I know that eight years of systemic disenfranchisement, disinvestment and incompetence had its desired effect on the electoral process in Georgia", Abrams said.
If the judge determines the election is so defective that it casts doubt on the results, the judge can declare the election invalid and call a new vote among the same candidates. Instead, she said she would fight to restore integrity to Georgia's election system in a new initiative called Fair Fight Georgia.
The office said in a news release that 27 counties had to conduct a second review of provisional ballots cast because would-be voters didn't appear on the voter rolls. Abrams would have been Georgia's and the country's first female African American governor and the first Democrat to win a statewide race there since 2000.
It was, however, the end of a campaign whose outcome had remained uncertain for days as Abrams pressed for the counting of ballots that had been rejected for minor errors.
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Abrams stressed as she spoke: "This is not a speech of concession".
But his record still gave Abrams' campaign a rallying cry even after the polls closed: "Count every vote", her campaign manager repeatedly told the television cameras, asserting that it was not yet time for Abrams to concede.
Kemp declared victory two days after the election and appointed a chief of staff for his transition.
"The state failed its voters", claimed Abrams in her non-concession speech.
Stacey Abrams acknowledged Friday that she could not defeat her GOP opponent in Georgia's gubernatorial election.
It was being discussed as Georgia elections officials appear to be on the cusp of certifying Kemp as the victor of a bitterly fought campaign that's been marred by charges of electoral malfeasance. "We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia's bright and promising future". "We will be a state that puts hardworking Georgians - no matter their zip code or political preference - first!"
"I appreciate her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service", the statement said.