‘He won. It is time to move on!’
(Maya T. Prabhu, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) President Donald Trump weighed in on the ongoing saga of Georgia’s gubernatorial election on Friday, saying the state should “move on” and sarcastically implied Russia should be blamed for ballots still being counted.
Republican Brian Kemp, who hosted Trump for a campaign rally in the final days of the campaign, on Wednesday declared victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams, but despite Kemp leading with 50.3 percent of the vote to Abrams’ 48.7 percent, the latter—who would have been the first black, female governor of a Southern state—has refused to concede.
Georgia law states that if no candidate were to garner at least 50 percent of the vote, it would trigger an automatic run-off.
Abrams’ campaign, along with the Georgia Democratic Party, filed a lawsuit against Dougherty County alleging that voters were denied the opportunity to cast ballots by mail during the general election.
Trump shared his thoughts via Twitter on Friday.
.@BrianKempGA ran a great race in Georgia – he won. It is time to move on!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
“You mean they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia—but the Election was on Tuesday? Let’s blame the Russians and demand an immediate apology from President Putin!” he followed up.
Votes in Florida also are still being counted, where the races for the U.S. Senate and the governor’s mansion are close.
Kemp, who served as Georgia’s secretary of state until resigning Thursday, told reporters that there are roughly 25,000 outstanding provisional and absentee ballots. The Secretary of State’s Office is tasked with overseeing elections.
Kemp responded to Trump’s comment on Twitter, saying it’s time to transition.
President @realDonaldTrump is right. The race is over and it’s time to transition. Enough with the political games. Let’s put hardworking Georgians first! #gapol #gagop #tcot #gafirst https://t.co/FBI2BEzcNp
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) November 9, 2018
Shortly after Trump’s comments, Abrams said on Twitter that the fight is not about her.
“This fight is about making sure our democracy works for & represents everyone who has ever put their faith in it. It’s about fighting for every Georgian who cast a ballot with the promise that their vote would count,” Abrams said.
Georgia’s county election boards are counting provisional and mailed ballots through Friday evening and will certify final tallies Tuesday.
(c)2018 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.