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Brian Kemp Declares Victory in Georgia Governor's Race as Stacey Abrams Hopes for Runoff

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The argument over Mr. Kemp’s role sharpened on Sunday, when his office announced that it had opened an inquiry into the Democratic Party of Georgia for what state officials said was an attempted hacking of the voter registration system.

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#BREAKING | Campaign staff for Stacey Abrams announced the candidate and the campaign will not accept the announcement of Brian Kemps victory in the close election race.

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Mistrust of Mr. Kemp and the state’s election machinery was palpable on the campus of Morehouse College, the historically black men’s school west of downtown Atlanta.

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More: Brian Kemp leads for Georgia governor; Stacey Abrams says she won't concede More: Brian Kemp, criticized for overseeing Georgia election, runs into trouble casting vote More: Election day after: Cliffhangers, the fate of Stacey Abrams and stuff we don't know yet More: Georgia governor race in-depth voting results Craig Albert, a political scientist at Augusta University, said the chance the outstanding ballots would close the gap was slim.

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USA TODAY In this Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 file photo, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia Stacey Abrams, left, speaks as her Republican opponent Secretary of State Brian Kemp looks on during a debate in Atlanta.

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Democrat Stacey Abrams is not conceding the race for Georgia governor until “every vote” is counted, her campaign said late Wednesday after Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp declared himself the victor in the tight race.

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Show the data, show the votes, get a fair process,” Abrams’ campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, said, noting Kemp hadn’t shared more data on the outstanding ballots with Abrams’ team or the wider public.

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If a runoff is required, it will only intensify a race that was already among the nation’s most contentious — not least because of Mr. Kemp’s decision to remain secretary of state.

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On Wednesday afternoon, Kemp’s campaign released a statement declaring Kemp the victor, saying he “will now begin his transition as governor-elect of Georgia” and claiming that it was “mathematically impossible” for Abrams to win or force a runoff.

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CLOSE Brian Kemp oversaw elections, including his own gubernatorial race, as Secretary of State.

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(Photo: John Bazemore, AP) ATLANTA – Republican Brian Kemp has declared victory in the Georgia governor’s race with election results showing him with a narrow lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams and all but a few precincts reporting complete results.

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Although Republicans believed Mr. Kemp was the clear winner in the race, The Associated Press and other major news organizations refrained from projecting him as the victor on Wednesday, defying pressure from party leaders.

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#BREAKING Brian Kemps Campaign declares victory in the Governors race. @FOX5Atlanta

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Mr. Kemp, who has called accusations that he encouraged voter suppression a “farce,” oversaw legal purges of voter rolls and embraced a rigorous “exact match” approach to processing voter registrations, among other steps that have drawn criticism.

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Kemp’s office had told Abrams’ team there were 25,000 outstanding votes ― 22,000 provisional ballots and 3,000 mail-in or absentee ballots.

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Abrams’ campaign told reporters on a conference call later Wednesday that “we do not accept” Kemp’s declaration of victory, and the campaign demanded transparency from his office (as secretary of state, he oversees elections) on the thousands of votes not yet counted.

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LIVE AT 5 ON CHANNEL 2 ACTION NEWS: @BrianKempGAs campaign is declaring victory in the Ga. governors race - This campaign is over. Brian Kemp has won this election.” We are waiting on a response from the @staceyabrams campaign Live updates:

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As secretary of state, Kemp is Georgia's top election official.

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