Stacey Abrams tells Jake Tapper she's not done, will run for office again

Defeated Georgia candidate says that she'll definitely run for office again, but isn't sure when or where

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published November 19, 2018 9:30AM (EST)

Stacey Abrams (Kevin Carlin)
Stacey Abrams (Kevin Carlin)

Stacey Abrams, who attracted national attention from Democrats, progressives and the media in her losing campaign for governor of Georgia, said over the weekend that she plans on running for higher office in the future. She didn't say when that might happen, or what office she has in mind.

"I'm going to spend the next year as a private citizen, but I do indeed intend to run for office again," Abrams told CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday, according to Politico. "I'm not sure for what, and I am not exactly certain when. I need to take a nap. But once I do, I'm planning to get back into the ring."

When Abrams conceded the governor's race to her Republican opponent, former Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, she made it clear that she had serious questions about the legitimacy of the election results.

"So let's be clear -- this is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper," Abrams told her supporters on Friday. "As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that. But, my assessment is the law currently allows no further viable remedy. Now, I can certainly bring a new case to keep this one contest alive, but I don't want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post. Because the title of governor isn't nearly as important as our shared title -- voters. And that is why we fight on."

Abrams' concession speech referred to the manner in which Kemp, as Georgia's secretary of state, purged 340,134 voters from the rolls using controversial methods. Investigative reporter Greg Palast, who uncovered those purges and other dubious machinations in the Peach State, also explained how Kemp's controversial practices impacted ordinary voters on election day.

"The hidden story here in Georgia is the fight over provisional ballots, something that didn't even exist until after the election was stolen in Florida in 2000," Palast told Salon on Election Day. "If your name is missing from the voter rolls or there is an ID problem or something else that doesn't meet ... Mr. Kemp's 'Chutes and Ladders' requirements to vote, you get this provisional ballot. ... When you fill out that provisional ballot, it's stuck in an envelope, and it's put in this orange envelope that looks like it's a bio-hazard." State authorities then decided, Palast said, whether or when those votes would actually be counted.

Not surprisingly, editors at the Weekly Standard, a conservative publication denounced Abrams' unusual concession speech.

"Democrats have become adept at making excuses for narrow losses in recent times — Russian trolls in 2016, voter intimidation in Florida in 2000, etc. We persist in believing that elections in America are free and fair, and that Abrams lost for the mundane reason that she didn’t get enough votes. The gracious thing to do was to admit it and congratulate Brian Kemp," The Weekly Standard wrote.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2018 Midterm Elections Brian Kemp Cable News Cnn Georgia Georgia Governor's Race Jake Tapper Stacey Abrams