Midterms Update: Georgia’s Abrams Ends Her Bid for Governor. Florida Is Still in Play

By Shani Saxon Nov 16, 2018

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know that several key midterm election outcomes remain in limbo, mostly due to alleged voter suppression and uncounted or discarded ballots. Here’s where things stand for three big races:

Stacy Abrams (D) vs. Brian Kemp (R) for Georgia Governor

Georgia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams ended her campaign this evening (November 16).

In a late afternoon press conference she said that Florida law allowed "no further viable remedy” to continue the race, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Yet, Abrams refused to concede to Kemp, who as secretary of state controlled voting rules but refused to give up the position.  “I will not concede,” she’s reported as saying, “because the erosion of our democracy is not right.”

This morning, Abrams’ campaign chairwoman, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, told the Associated Press that the candidate was considering a longshot lawsuit using a Georgia election provision that allows losing candidates to challenge results based on “misconduct, fraud or irregularities … sufficient to change or place in doubt the results.” Throughout the week Abrams maintained that at least 18,000 Georgians either had their ballots discarded or were not allowed to vote. “These stories to me are such that they have to be addressed,” said Lawrence-Hardy. "It’s just a much bigger responsibility. I feel like our mandate has blossomed."

At press time, unofficial returns show that Kemp has 50.2 percent of more than 3.9 million votes, according to USA Today. Candidates must have more than 50 percent of the vote in order to declare victory. Despite the end of her campaign, Abrams plans to file a federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia’s board of elections.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) vs. Gov. Rick Scott (R) for U.S. Senate

A hand recount triggered by Florida state law continues in the battle between incumbent U.S. Sen Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott. But a Nelson victory seems highly unlikely after the campaign suffered a legal setback on Friday morning (November 16).

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker dealt a blow to Nelson on Friday morning when he "denied a request for Scott to recuse himself from election matters," CNN reports. The judge also ruled “that the guidelines Florida law provides to election canvassing boards as to how to determine voter intent in a manual recount are constitutional.” As the manual recount continues, Broward County and Palm Beach County represent “the only chance Nelson has to close the gap, and even then, the likelihood is dim,” according to CNN. On Thursday (November 15) Walker refused a request from the Nelson campaign to extend the deadline for the recount. 

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) vs. Rick De Santis (R) for Florida Governor
rntAndrew Gillum, who conceded on election-night but revoked it due to alleged voting irregularities, remains in Florida’s governor race. A recount failed to close the 33,000 vote gap between Gillum and his Republican opponent, Rick De Santis. Still, Gillum said on Pod Save America that he was in "fighting shape" as recently as Thursday and won’t concede until the last vote is counted.