Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has declared victory within the gubernatorial race and says he’s stepping down because the state’s high election official Thursday to start his transition to governor.

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ABC Information has not but projected the winner of this race.

Kemp has been dogged by critics, together with opponent Stacey Abrams and former President Jimmy Carter, who’ve urged him to resign all through the course of the race due to potential battle of curiosity as secretary of state, a place that encompasses overseeing of elections. Talking at a press convention Thursday, Kemp stated stepping down would “give public confidence to the certification course of.”

Requested why he selected to resign now, Kemp denied it was due to the criticism.

“I wasn’t actually involved about that however I feel in mild of the place we at the moment are, this can give public confidence to the certification course of,” Kemp stated.

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“We’ve had different Democrat secretaries of state serve in their very own election many many occasions together with a run for governor,” he stated. “I don’t really feel like anybody was higher suited than myself, however not solely myself however my nice workforce that we’ve within the elections division, the nice partnership we’ve created with the county elections officers that really run the Election Day in the present day.”

ABC Information has not projected a winner within the race between Kemp and Abrams. ABC Information doesn’t mission races that fall inside a margin of 1 proportion level, due to considerations about errors within the vote tabulation or doable excellent votes nonetheless to be counted. In Georgia, a profitable candidate must clear 50 p.c plus one to keep away from a runoff.

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Whereas Kemp leads Abrams 51 p.c to 48 p.c, he isn’t greater than 1 proportion level away from breaking 50 p.c — which is required for victory in Georgia.

Kemp believes his lead is insurmountable. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has additionally acknowledged him because the winner of the election.

PHOTO: Stacey Abrams, left, and Brian Kemp.AP, FILE
Stacey Abrams, left, and Brian Kemp.

Abrams just isn’t conceding as she awaits a trove of provisional ballots to be counted and is getting ready authorized motion for a possible recount. Her marketing campaign believes there are sufficient votes nonetheless excellent to power a runoff. A runoff election is required beneath state legislation if no candidates achieves a transparent majority of the vote.

“How can anyone declare a victory when there are sufficient votes that haven’t been counted that would trigger a run-off?” requested John Chandler, a member of Abrams’ authorized workforce, at a press convention held on the similar time Kemp claimed victory Thursday morning.

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Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, one other member of Abrams’ authorized workforce, thanked voters for combating to get their ballots accepted and stated they have been seeking to file litigation in a while Thursday.

“Stacey Abrams has been combating for folks her entire life and we’re going to preserve combating for each voter,” Lawrence-Hardy stated.

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