Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp will defeat Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams in a rematch of the 2018 gubernatorial election, according to a projection by Decision Desk.
Kemp, 59, dominated the polls all election cycle and even overcame opposition from former President Donald J. Trump, who endorsed former Senator David Perdue during the GOP primary.
Abrams conceded the race to Kemp, which she refused to do after their 2018 matchup, later Tuesday night, according to WTVM-9.
“Thank y’all so much. It looks like the reports of my political death were greatly exaggerated,” Kemp said during his victory speech.
“Looking at the results tonight, we made sure that Stacey Abrams will not be your governor or your next president, ” he continued.
In recent weeks, Kemp shied away from criticism of Trump, choosing instead to express gratitude for the 45th president’s time in office.
“I don’t know, you’d have to ask him that question. Look, I’m focusing on getting our vote out,” Kemp told CNN in late October when asked why he thought that Trump was avoiding the Georgia general election.
“I appreciate what President Trump did for the state of Georgia. His administration was incredible to work with,” he added, noting the help received during COVID.
Like most other states, crime, inflation, and the economy were the top three issues for Georgian voters.
For her part, the 48-year-old Abrams opted to focus on abortion and cultural issues in the final weeks of her campaign, telling Georgia voters that Kemp’s victory would threaten women, health care, the LGBTQ community, and even ban certain children from playing with their friends.
“If we don’t elect me, we will have no health care for half a million Georgians,” Abrams told Oprah Winfrey at an October event. “Our children will continue to go to underfunded schools where transgender children have been banned from playing with their friends,” she continued.
The Democratic nominee also claimed that the government would force parents to teach false history to their children.
“We will have divisive laws that say that you have to lie to your children about their history,” she added.
Later, Abrams appeared on a stage with a rapper named Latto to promote abortion as apart of her closing arguments.
Georgia voters were particularly animated in this election, despite Democratic warnings that a 2021 voter ID law signed by Kemp would disenfranchise millions of voters. Democrats warned that the legislation would usher in a new era of “Jim Crow 2.0.” President Joe Biden said it would make that previous era of American history look like “Jim Eagle.”
However, despite those predictions more than two million people voted via early voting and absentee ballots, smashing previous records in the process. Election day voters were still being counted as of press time.
Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, said during a press conference before the results were final that the voting process during the election had been “spectacularly boring” and had experienced no serious issues. He also noted that the average wait time even on Election Day was 2 minutes. The longest wait times were up to 10 minutes in highly populated areas.
Chris, a father of two with a third on the way, in Cobb County told the Daily Wire he voted because he believes it is the “duty of every citizen, and this election is especially important for several reasons.”
“We must stop the controlled demolition of our country by unchecked Democrat policies,” he continued. “I voted red down the ballot with the exception of Raffensperger since I thought his response to the 2020 election issues was horrendous.”
The race was one of the most expensive contests of the cycle. Abrams and Kemp raised $165 million for the filing period ending October 25, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
As of the latest report, Kemp had raised just $69 million in total with roughly $10.3 million cash on hand. Abrams raised a total of $97 million dollars over the whole cycle; she currently has some $5.6 million cash unspent. For comparison sake, in 2018, the two candidates spent just $48 million combined.