GOP's Kemp declaring victory despite provisional ballots uncounted

Associated Press

ATLANTA (November 8, 2018) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp says he is resigning as Georgia's secretary of state.

Kemp says he and his campaign are declaring victory because it isn't possible for his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, to pick up enough votes to force a runoff. Abrams' campaign has said there are still enough uncounted votes to force a Dec. 4 runoff and that they need to pick up about 15,000 votes to do so.

Kemp's statement came at a news conference Thursday with outgoing Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. Kemp also announced that he was stepping down as secretary of state as of 11:59 a.m. today.

That announcement came as a federal court hearing was being held on a lawsuit from five Georgia residents who asked a judge to block Kemp from having any further role in overseeing the election. The state said Kemp will not perform any election-related duties Thursday and that an interim secretary will oversee the rest of the vote counting.

In an interview with WSB Radio Thursday, Kemp says his rival's campaign is using "old math." Without providing specifics, he said the number "is actually more like 30,000 votes." He says only about 20,000 provisional ballots remain uncounted in the race. He says even if his opponent Democrat Stacey Abrams "got 100 percent of those votes, we still win."

Abrams' campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo says Kemp has offered no proof of why anyone should take his word.

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