Republican Brian Kemp declared victory Wednesday over Democrat Stacey Abrams in Georgia’s razor-thin gubernatorial contest, making the announcement first on his Facebook page.
“Brian Kemp has won this election and will maintain a margin above 50% where this does not go into a recount or into a runoff situation,” tweeted a WSB-TV reporter.
Kemp, who currently serves as Georgia’s secretary of state, has battled former Democratic state Rep. Abrams in a closer-than-expected gubernatorial contest. While Kemp continually led Abrams throughout Tuesday night as votes trickled in, his lead was never wide enough to declare outright victory. (RELATED: Armed With Assault Rifles, Black Panthers March For Stacey Abrams)
By the early hours of Wednesday morning, Abrams announced at her election rally that she wanted to wait until every vote was accounted for.
“Votes remain to be counted. There are voices that are waiting to be heard,” the Democratic nominee said Wednesday morning to supporters, refusing to concede the election. She believed she could obtain enough absentee votes to force the race into a runoff — in the state of Georgia, a candidate must receive at least 50 percent of the vote plus one.
While Abrams was able to shrink Kemp’s lead later in the day, it became increasingly clear that Kemp had more than enough votes to reach the finish line.
By Wednesday evening, Kemp maintained 50.3 percent of the vote to Abrams’ 48.7 with 100 percent of precincts reporting. The Republican candidates’ team is confident that enough votes have been counted to declare victory.
As of publication of this article, no network has officially declared a winner in the race, nor has Abrams officially conceded.
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