Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has vowed to stay in the race against gun-toting, vote-suppressing Republican Brian Kemp, insisting that a wave of yet-to-be-counted absentee ballots could be enough to put her over the top. Polls currently show her losing to Kemp by just over 75,000 votes.
“I’m here tonight to tell you votes remain to be counted. There’s voices that are waiting to be heard,” Abrams exclaimed during a rousing speech to supporters early Wednesday morning.
While Kemp declared himself the eventual winner, Abrams urged supporters to brace for a potential runoff election, should his lead narrow further. (Georgia forces a runoff if no candidate gets a true majority of votes.)
“I need you to know that it is my mission to serve you, to serve Georgia, to make you proud,” she said during her non-concession speech. “And for those who didn’t pick me the first time, to change your mind about me and what we can accomplish together.”
If Abrams wins, she will become the first black female governor in American history. Kemp, meanwhile, would become just the latest bigoted white guy to occupy Georgia’s governor’s mansion.
Throughout the campaign, Kemp—currently Georgia’s Secretary of State—refused to recuse himself from election related issues, despite his clear conflict of interest as someone overseeing the election he was running in. Instead, he seemingly went out of his way to suppress potential Abrams supporters—many of them people of color—with voter purges and shameless dirty tricks.
“Across our state, folks are opening up the dreams of voters in absentee ballots, and we believe our chance for a stronger Georgia is just within reach. But we cannot seize it until all voices are heard,” Abrams told supporters on Wednesday, in perhaps a not-so-subtle nod to Kemp’s suppression efforts.
Kemp currently faces a lawsuit from five Georgia voters seeking to bar him from participating in any potential recounts in the governor’s race, due to his grotesque conflict of interest.