Brian Kemp campaign declares victory over Stacey Abrams in governor’s race

Brian Kemp (Photo: CNN)

Republican Brian Kemp has declared victory in the Georgia governor’s race against Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Kemp’s campaign in a statement said they are basing this off the “crunching absentee ballots,” about 3,000 left, as well as the provisional ballots.

Spokesman Cody Hall said the secretary of state is leading Abrams by 64,000 votes and dismissed the possibility of Kemp dropping below the 50 percent threshold, which would force the race into a runoff.

Kemp received 50.33 percent of the votes cast in the election, compared to 48.72 percent for Abrams and 0.95 percent for Libertarian candidate Ted Metz.

“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,” Hall said. “Simply put, it is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win or force a run-off election.

“Peach State voters made a clear decision at the ballot box. Brian Kemp will now begin his transition as governor-elect of Georgia. He will work every day to keep our state moving in the right direction.”

Provisional and overseas ballots could have an impact on far more than the governor’s race. The races for the 6th Congressional District and 7th Congressional District seats are statistical ties

In Gwinnett County alone, there are about 2,400 provisional ballots, according to county spokeswoman Shaunieka Taylor.

Abrams said mid-morning Wednesday that she is not conceding. She was vying to be the first black woman in U.S. history to be elected governor.

Her campaign announced later Wednesday that it is buying ad time on African-American and Latinx radio stations and advertising space in African-American and Latinx publications around Georgia.

The ads will encourage voters to call the Democratic Party of Georgia’s voter protection hotline at 1-888-730-5816. The Abrams campaign accused Kemp of unspecified attempts to disenfranchise voters during the election.

“Since the beginning, our campaign has been committed to ensuring every eligible Georgians has the ability to make their voice heard at the ballot box,” Campaign Manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said.

“To date, we have made unprecedented investments in voter protection to counteract Secretary of State and Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp’s unethical efforts to disenfranchise Georgians in order to tip this highly competitive election in his favor.”

She spoke with her supporters just after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at a packed ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

“Votes remain to be counted. There are voters that remain to be heard,” Abrams told the crowd. “I promise you tonight that every vote is counted - every single vote.”

But while the counting continues, some Republicans quickly began congratulating Kemp.

“Georgians sent a clear message that they are committed to keeping our state on track,” U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said in a statement. “Despite liberal Democrats from outside Georgia spending tens of millions of dollars in our state, it still didn’t work.

“The people of Georgia flatly rejected socialism. They rejected a single-payer health care system. They rejected open borders and sanctuary cities. They made it clear that the Democrats’ path to the presidency in 2020 will not run through Georgia.”

Gov. Nathan Deal said on Twitter, “My congratulations to Gov.-elect @BrianKempGA. He and his opponent both ran passionate campaigns with very different visions about how to keep Georgia on this path of prosperity, and I believe the voters of Georgia made the correct decision in electing Brian.”

Meanwhile, the Georgia Republican Party said on Twitter, “This race is over, and @briankempga has won! Congratulations Governor-Elect Kemp!”

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