Democrat Stacey Abrams has ended her campaign to be the governor of Georgia.
Flanked by supporters and staff at her campaign headquarters in Atlanta, Abrams said there was “no further viable remedy” to continue the fight for a runoff with Republican Brian Kemp.
A glimpse at the teleprompter on the floor showed her speech was called “I Will Not Concede,” and Abrams, who would have been the country's first black female governor, said this was not meant to be a speech of concession.
“Concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper,” Abrams said. “As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede.”
The former state House minority leader also said that she would not try to use a Georgia law that could ask a judge to order a new election.
“I don’t want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post,” Abrams said. “Because the title of governor isn’t nearly as important as our shared title: voters.”
After recounting an assortment of problems voters faced in the election, from long lines at the polls to being issued provisional paper ballots to the hundreds of thousands of Georgians that have been removed from the voting rolls in recent years, Abrams said there were two things she would do next.
One was to help fellow Democrat John Barrow win the secretary of state’s office runoff and Lindy Miller win the Public Service Commission District 3 runoff.
The other was the announcement of a new group called Fair Fight Georgia that would “channel the work of the past several weeks into a strong legal demand for reform of our elections system in Georgia.”
Abrams said she plans to file a federal lawsuit against the state that would “protect future elections from unconstitutional actions.”
In a statement sent after Abrams’ speech, Kemp thanked her for her passion, hard work and commitment to public service.
“We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future,” Kemp said. ““I humbly ask for citizens of our great state to stand with me in the days ahead. Together, we will realize the opportunities and tackle the challenges to come."