Democrat Stacey Abrams is refusing to concede in Georgia’s governor’s race, despite unofficial returns giving Republican Brian Kemp 50.7 percent and Abrams 48.4 percent.
“Democracy only works when we work for it, when we fight for it, when we demand it, and apparently today when we stand in line for hours to meet it at the ballot box,” Abrams told supporters early Wednesday morning. “I am here today to tell you there are votes remaining to be counted. Voices are waiting to be heard.”
Her campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo told the crowd that absentee and provisional ballots have not yet been counted.
“We have three factors to be considered here: outstanding votes, absentee ballots to be counted, and provisional ballots,” Groh-Wargo said.”Given those three issues, we believe this is likely heading to a runoff.”
Only when a candidate for governor fails to reach the 50 percent threshold would a runoff be held.
“We believe — we do not know — this is headed for a runoff,” Groh-Wargo, said, reports The New York Times. “This is not ending soon, and we’re unlikely to have anything definitive to say until the morning.”
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The race for the governorship was tight for months and Abrams enjoyed outside support from key Democrats including former President Obama and Oprah Winfrey.
Some predicted at the time that Winfrey’s campaign efforts on behalf of Abrams would be enough to get her elected.
“A lot of celebrities can raise money for you if you are running for political office. Oprah Winfrey has a spiritual connection with so much of this country, and it was built over years and years of doing that talk show,” Fox News co-host Dagen McDowell said on Fox News’s “Outnumbered” earlier this month.
Kemp did not declare victory outright early Wednesday but was confident the math would be on his campaign’s side when all the votes were counted.
“There are votes left to count, but we have a very strong lead,” he said. “Folks, make no mistake: The math is on our side to win this election.”
A Democrat has not been elected governor of Georgia since 1998.