Brian Kemp elected Georgia governor

Brian Kemp elected Georgia governor
© Kemp for Governor

Republican Brian Kemp was officially elected governor over his opponent Stacey Abrams, with The Associated Press declaring Kemp's victory on Sunday, nearly two weeks after the election. 

Kemp’s run against Abrams was one of the nation’s tightest and most controversial and the votes cast on Election Day left the race too tight to call for days. 

Georgia certified the state’s vote on Saturday, confirming Kemp led Abrams by 1.4 percentage points, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Abrams on Friday ended her campaign, saying she saw "no legal path forward" against Kemp because she lacked the votes necessary to force a runoff under state law.

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Kemp had already declared victory and stepped down as Georgia’s secretary of state as he began his transition to the governor’s mansion.

Critics had assailed Kemp during the election for failing to step down as Georgia's top election official, a post he’d held since 2010, and for putting the registrations of 53,000 voters on hold — 70 percent of which were reportedly black.

Kemp said he was merely following the law in verifying voter registrations, but Democrats and civil rights groups argued he was discriminating against minorities.

A Trump supporter, Kemp earned the endorsement of Vice President Pence. Campaigning for Kemp in Georgia last week, Pence said Georgia and the American people need Kemp to be the state’s next governor.

Georgia voted for President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Ex-Clinton aide: Dems should make 2020 'about integrity' Trump mounts Rust Belt defense MORE, the Democratic nominee, 50.4 percent to 45.3 percent in the 2016 presidential election.

“Frankly, I’d be here campaigning for Brian Kemp if he was unopposed,” Pence said. “Brian Kemp is Georgia.”

If Abrams had won, she would have been the first black female governor in U.S. history.