Stacey Abrams’ second shot at making history and becoming Georgia’s first Black governor and the first Black woman to serve as governor in the U.S. has now ended in defeat.
With 86 percent of the vote in by 11:00 pm eastern on election night, incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp was projected as the winner according to an ABC News Poll. Abrams reportedly conceded to Kemp late Tuesday, ending a fiercely contested, high-profile rematch of their 2018 contest.
“Even though my fight — our fight — for the governor’s mansion may have come up short, I’m pretty tall,” Abrams said late Tuesday night. “I am here because this is a moment where, despite every obstacle, we are still standing strong and standing tall and standing resolute and standing in our values, and we know Georgia deserves more.”
“Whether we do it from the governor’s mansion or from the streets, whether we do it from the Capitol or from our communities, we are going to fight for more for the state of Georgia. That is what we’re here for,” she continued during remarks made after conceding to Kemp.
Abrams narrowly lost the race to Kemp four years ago by 1.4 percentage points. That loss propelled her to become one of the country’s leading voices on voting rights. Her voter registration efforts are credited with helping President Joe Biden win Georgia in the 2020 presidential election when Georgia flipped blue for the first time since 1992.
Kemp refused pressure from Trump to overturn the 2020 election and is one of the few GOP officials who withstood Trump’s harsh criticism and handpicked challenger David Perdue in the Republican primary.
In her second bid for the governorship, Abrams, a veteran Democratic lawmaker, aimed to make the election a referendum on Mr. Kemp’s previous four years, arguing that his leadership had harmed low-income Georgians and people of color in the state.
Additionally, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Ms. Abrams’ campaign focused on her opponent’s support for a bill that is now Georgia’s law outlawing abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. However, she had trouble winning over important constituencies, particularly swing voters in conservatively inclined suburban communities.
Leading up to election day, Georgia voters broke election records, shattering the 2.5M mark for ballots cast during early voting, according to data from the Secretary of State’s Office.
“Georgia voters came out in near Presidential-level numbers,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “County election directors handled that demand with the utmost professionalism. They navigated a whole host of challenges and executed seamlessly. They deserve our highest praise.”
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