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Kemp claims victory in Georgia, race still too close to call

Campaign advisers for Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp are declaring victory in a race that national outlets have said is too close to call.

Campaign official Ryan Mahoney said “We are declaring victory” during a Wednesday afternoon conference call with reporters that did not include Kemp, according to the Associated Press.

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A second campaign official, Austin Chambers, said on the call that “[the] message here is pretty simple: This election is over, and the results are clear,” the AP reported.

Kemp, the current secretary of state of Georgia, currently has just over 50 percent of the vote against former state Senate Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D). Abrams refused to concede Tuesday night, hoping that the remaining votes that have not been counted will get Kemp’s total to under 50 percent. 

Georgia law mandates that if no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote then the election heads to a runoff.

The Peach State’s gubernatorial race attracted national attention after Kemp and Abrams defeated more mainstream candidates in their respective primaries and the contest in the ruby red state became competitive. 

The campaign turned ugly in its final days, with Abrams and her supporters accusing Kemp, who oversees the election, of voter suppression due to the state’s law requiring information on applications to exactly match information on other government forms. 

Reports of long delays at voting stations in Democratic areas also drew criticism, while Kemp and his supporters accused the Democrats of election hacking. Both candidates denied the respective claims.