Brian Kemp resigns as Georgia secretary of state
Two days after the midterms and the saga continues for Georgia's gubernatorial race. Brian Kemp has a narrowing lead over democrat Stacey Abrams following Tuesday's vote.
The race remains too close to officially call but Kemp has declared himself the winner. Abrams has not conceded siting thousands of provisional ballots that are unaccounted for.
In a joint news conference, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Republican Brian Kemp appeared together for the first time since the election.
Deal congratulated Kemp on his win, then stepped aside to let him make an announcement.
"Effective 11:59 a.m. today (Thursday) I am stepping down as secretary of state," Kemp said.
As secretary of state, Kemp oversees elections, something his opponents criticized as a conflict of interest. Abrams and even former President Jimmy Carter said Kemp should have resigned earlier. Kemp said there is no conflict and each county is responsible for certifying election results. Instead, he said his administration made it "easy to vote and hard to cheat in Georgia."
"I'm proud of what we've accomplished over the years as secretary of state. We've used technology, innovation to upgrade our systems, enhance cyber security and save tax payers millions of dollars," he said.
More ballots are being counted and the gap between Abrams and Kemp continues to narrow. However, Kemp said the math isn't there for his opponent even if 100% of the uncounted ballots were for her.
"The votes are not there for her. I certainly respect the hard fought race that she ran. But, that's a decision she is going to have to make. But we've won the race, it's very clear now and we're moving forward with the transition," Kemp said.
The Kemp campaign is in the middle of litigation from his critics. Governor Nathan Deal said there's no time to wait to see what happens.
"We have no idea how long litigation may continue and I don't think the administration of the state can wait that long," Deal said.
Deal appointed Robyn Crittenden to fill the secretary of state vacancy. As for Kemp, he said he's ready to put the election behind him.
"My sights are set on Georgia's future on serving Georgia families on building a safer, stronger state," Kemp said.
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