(CN) – Democrat Stacey Abrams said Friday evening she accepts that Brian Kemp, her Republican opponent in the Georgia gubernatorial race, would be certified the winner of their hotly contested race.
“I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election,” Abrams said at a press conference Friday, effectively conceding that she lost the race a week after the November midterm elections.
But she refused to formally concede, and announced that “in the coming days, we will be filing a major federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections.”
Kemp is Georgia’s former secretary of state. Abrams and voting rights activists have argued for months that Kemp engaged in voter suppression and otherwise mismanaged the elections system throughout their contest.
Since election night Abrams and her campaign have filed a series of legal challenges to ensure that absentee and provisional ballots were counted.
The counting of those votes lowered the margin of victory for Kemp but not by enough to trigger a runoff election in December.