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(Reuters) – Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams admitted defeat in her effort to become the first black female U.S. governor on Friday, but said she planned to sue the state over voting problems and “gross mismanagement” of the election.
Abrams’ announcement effectively hands victory to Republican Brian Kemp in a bitter race that has drawn national attention both for her historic campaign and for Kemp’s role as the state’s top election administrator.
Abrams accused Kemp of using his position as Georgia Secretary of State to interfere with the vote – an allegation he has strongly denied.
“To watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in this state baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote has been truly appalling,” Abrams told supporters in Atlanta.
“So let’s be clear: This is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action as right, true or proper,” she said.
State officials were expected to certify Kemp as the winner as soon as Friday night.
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