Midterms 2018

Democrat Stacey Abrams Says Republican Brian Kemp Will Be Next Governor of Georgia

She vows to file a lawsuit for 'gross mismanagement' of elections

Image Credit: Alex Wong/Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, the Democrat in Georgia’s governor race, acknowledged Friday that she cannot defeat her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, but vowed to file a federal lawsuit challenging the “gross mismanagement” of the state’s elections.

Abrams’ address to her supporters essentially concluded her challenge for the governor’s mansion, the final result of which had been in doubt since Election Day — but she noted that she was not officially conceding the race.

Abrams (shown above left) had hoped to become the first black governor of Georgia and the first black female governor of any state.

Unofficial returns in the state put Kemp (above right) ahead of Abrams with roughly 50.2 percent of more than 3.9 million votes. This standing gave him about 18,000 votes above the threshold required to win by a majority and avoid a December 4 runoff.

Kemp issued a statement following his opponent’s announcement, saying she “conceded the race and officially ended her campaign for governor.”

“I appreciate her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service,” the statement said. “The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward. We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future.”

He went on to request that people in Georgia “stand with me in the days ahead.”

“Together, we will realize the opportunities and tackle the challenges to come,” the statement said. “We will be a state that puts hardworking Georgians — no matter their zip code or political preference — first!”

Related: Georgia GOP Leader Warns About Ulterior Motives Behind Today’s Ballot Battles

Kemp, Georgia’s former secretary of state, received the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

Abrams gave her speech, where she also announced her intent to “fight back legally,” just after 5 p.m.

That was the earliest state officials could certify the results after a court-ordered review of absentee, provisional and other uncounted ballots. Abrams’ campaign had contended there were potentially enough uncounted votes to force a runoff.

“In the coming days, Fair Fight Georgia will be filing a major federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections from unconstitutional actions.”

“In the coming days, we will be filing a major federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections,” she said.

Following her announcement, Abrams’ campaign sent out a news release that reiterated her comments.

“In her remarks, Abrams outlined the gross injustices Georgians faced when trying to cast their ballots during this election and launched Fair Fight Georgia,” the news release said.

“This new PAC will pursue accountability in Georgia’s elections and integrity in the process of maintaining our voting rolls.”

“In the coming days, Fair Fight Georgia will be filing a major federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections from unconstitutional actions,” it continued.

For more on this year’s midterms results, check out this video:

This is a developing story; check back for updates. Fox News’ David Lewkowict, Alex Pappas and The Associated Press contributed to this Fox News report, which is used by permission.

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