Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams pushed back Sunday against criticism that she rejected the results of her failed bid for governor in 2018, saying in an interview that she was referring to challenges that voters face when casting ballots in the state.
Ms. Abrams is in the midst of a rematch against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, with polls showing the challenger facing another uphill battle to unseat the incumbent. Faced with questions about her past comments on her narrow loss in 2018, in which she claimed to have “won” the contest, Ms. Abrams denied the notion that she failed to properly concede.
“I am clearly laying out the challenges that our voters face and the challenges our citizens face when we do not have a government that listens to them,” Ms. Abrams said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I acknowledged that Brian Kemp won — I acknowledged it repeatedly in that speech.”
“I very clearly say I know I’m not the governor,” she continued, “but what I will not do is allow the lack of nuance in our conversations to dull and obfuscate the challenges faced by our citizens.”
In an April 2019 speech to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Ms. Abrams said: “We had this little election back in 2018. And despite the final tally and the inauguration and the situation we find ourselves in, I do have one very affirmative statement to make. We won.”
Ms. Abrams has previously said her rhetoric of a “rigged” election system was not tantamount — as Republicans have suggested — to former President Donald Trump’s continued refusal to accept the 2020 election outcome.
Recent polls show Mr. Kemp ahead of Ms. Abrams by an average of more than 6 percentage points, well outside the margin of error.
In a Yahoo News interview last month, Ms. Abrams acknowledged Mr. Kemp’s 2018 victory but added: “I will never say that a system that is broken — that denied people their right to vote — is the right thing to have in the state and as part of democracy.”