Kemp Declares Victory in Georgia, Resigns State Post

Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp greets supporters during a campaign stop at Daniel Field in Augusta, Ga., Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)

ATLANTA (CN) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp resigned as Georgia’s secretary of state effective at noon Thursday, hours after declaring victory in the race to be the state’s next governor.

Attorney Russ Willard, of the Georgia Attorney General’s office, announced Kemp’s resignation in federal court Thursday morning. In doing so, Willard said Kemp had already submitted his letter of resignation to Governor Nathan Deal.

Willard also told the court that Kemp would not perform any election-related duties before his resignation goes into effect.

Meanwhile, the Democratic candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams, has yet to concede defeat.

The announcement of Kemp’s resignation came at a hearing Thursday morning involving a lawsuit filed by Protect Democracy, a nonprofit seeking to block Kemp from counting votes or certifying election results.

The lawsuit claimed that Kemp’s refusal to recuse himself from presiding over an election in which he is a candidate is a conflict of interest and “violates a basic notion of fairness.”

U.S. District Judge William Ray II said that he would dismiss the case following Kemp’s resignation.

Although Kemp maintains a slim lead over Abrams with nearly all Georgia precincts reporting on Wednesday, Abrams refused to concede until all absentee ballots are counted.

A representative for Stacey Abrams did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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