Dems’ can­di­date for gover­nor re­fuses to con­cede

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Bill Bar­row and Kate Brum­back

ATLAN TA » Repub­li­can Brian Kemp re­signed Thurs­day as Ge­or­gia’s sec­re­tary of state, a day af­ter his cam­paign said he had cap­tured enough votes to be­come gover­nor. His Demo­cratic ri­val, Stacey Abrams, re­fused to con­cede and her cam­paign de­manded that state of­fi­cials “count ev­ery sin­gle vote.”

As the state’s top elec­tion of­fi­cial, Kemp over­saw the race, a mar­quee con­test in the na- tion’s midterms. His res­ig­na­tion Thurs­day morn­ing came as a hear­ing be­gan for a law­suit in which five vot­ers asked that he be barred from ex­er­cis­ing his du­ties in any fu­ture man­age­ment of his own elec­tion tally.

Abrams’ cam­paign had re­peat­edly ac­cused Kemp of im­prop­erly us­ing his post as sec­re­tary of state and had been call­ing for him to step down for months, say­ing his con­tin­u­a­tion in the job was a con­flict of in­ter­est. Kemp made clear he wasn’t step­ping down in re­sponse to that crit­i­cism, but to start on his tran­si­tion to the gover­nor’s of­fice.

His res­ig­na­tion took ef­fect just be­fore noon Thurs­day. He said an in­terim sec­re­tary of state had been ap­pointed to over­see the rest of the vote count.

The As­so­ci­ated Press has not called the elec­tion.

Shortly af­ter Kemp’s an­nounce­ment, Abrams’ cam­paign and their le­gal team held a news con­fer­ence to an­nounce that they would not give up the fight to have all bal­lots counted. They in­sisted enough votes re­mained un­counted to af­fect the out­come of the elec­tion.

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