Stacey Abrams Compares Her Election Defeat To The Apostle Paul’s Suffering In Concession Speech
Stacey Abrams, former Georgia House Democratic Leader, speaks to attendees at the National Press Club Headliners Luncheon in Washington, D.C., on Friday, November 15, 2019.
Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams compared her loss in the Georgia gubernatorial election to the apostle Paul’s suffering amid his missionary work as she conceded to Republican rival and incumbent Governor Brian Kemp.

After narrowly defeating Abrams four years ago, Kemp was re-elected by a nearly 8-point margin, significantly outperforming his rival even as other swing-state Republicans across the country experienced lackluster results. In her concession speech, Abrams cited the words of the apostle Paul in describing persecution he faced while spreading the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the ancient Roman world.

“I am, too, reminded of what Scripture tells us,” Abrams remarked. “2 Corinthians 4:8 says this: ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed. We are perplexed, but not in despair. Persecuted, but not forsaken. Cast down, but not destroyed.’ I know the results are not what we hoped for tonight, and I understand that you are hurting and you are disappointed. I am, too. We may not have made it to the finish line, but we ran that race.”

Later in the letter, Paul further details the extent of his suffering: “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea” (2 Corinthians 11:24-25). Unlike the would-be Democratic governor, however, Paul was not recounting his persecution in a prideful manner: “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” (2 Corinthians 11:30).

After she lost the 2018 gubernatorial election, Abrams made national headlines for claiming that the election was stolen from her due to purported voter suppression and never offered a formal concession to Kemp. Though she has since denied that she denied the election, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives announced as late as 2019, “Despite the final tally and the inauguration, I do have one very affirmative statement to make: we won.”

Abrams spent much of her second gubernatorial campaign soliciting votes in predominantly African American churches, where ministers highlighted her candidacy and policy agenda from the pulpit. The attention from professing faith leaders came despite Abrams claiming that looser restrictions upon abortion would help families deal with rising prices. She claimed during one interview that “you cannot divorce being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy from the economic realities of having a child.”


Republicans lost several high-profile races on Tuesday, including Senate candidates Don Bolduc of New Hampshire and Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania. The Georgia race between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican candidate Herschel Walker will head for a runoff in a replay of the 2020 election cycle.

Republicans, however, managed to hold a handful of seats in the Senate. Ted Budd defeated Democratic rival Cheri Beasley in North Carolina, while J.D. Vance fended off Democrat Tim Ryan in Ohio. The races in Nevada and Arizona have not yet been called by any major networks at the time of writing.

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