Update: 11/16/18-5:25 p.m
Democrat Stacey Abrams admitted on Friday that she can’t win the Georgia gubernatorial race, ending her hopes to become the first Black woman governor in the U.S., The Associated Press reports.
Abrams’ campaign had hoped to get the state’s Supreme Court to decide on another round of voting, with the hopes that a runoff election would occur between her and Republican Brian Kemp.
“This is not a speech of concession,” Abrams said on Friday, per the AP.
It’s been more than a week since the 2018 midterm elections, and Democrat Stacey Abrams is still fighting to become Georgia’s next governor. Her campaign and legal team are reportedly going to present a challenge in the contest that could make Georgia’s Supreme Court decide if another round of voting should occur, the Associated Press reports.
Abrams, who, if declared the winner, would become the first Black female governor in U.S. history, is relying on a statute that hasn’t been used before in such an important race. Election officials in the state are close to certifying Republican Brian Kemp as the winner, per reports.
A decision on whether Abrams will go forward with the legal challenge may come as soon as Friday evening, her advisers told the Associated Press.
Georgia’s gubernatorial race had taken the national spotlight because of accusations of voter suppression by Kemp, who was the state’s secretary of state, and a wave of celebrity support and notable figures campaigning for Abrams.
Abrams’ campaign chairwoman, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, said they’re “considering all options.” Lawrence-Hardy is working with almost three dozen lawyers to draft a petition to the Georgia courts.
Under Georgia election law, Abrams can challenge the results based on “misconduct, fraud or irregularities … sufficient to change or place in doubt the results,” per the AP.
The unofficial vote count shows Kemp ahead of Abrams by 18,000 votes, which is above the needed requirement that would call for a Dec. 4 runoff. News outlets have not called the race because state officials haven’t certified the results.
Lawrence-Hardy said that many of Abrams’ supporters, who don’t usually go out to vote, want her to continue fighting in the race.
“These stories to me are such that they have to be addressed,” she said. “It’s just a much bigger responsibility. I feel like our mandate has blossomed. … Maybe this is our moment.”