ATLANTA — Georgia voters have elected Gov. Brian Kemp to four more years in office.
Shortly before 11 p.m., Channel 2 Action News learned that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams had conceded to Kemp. Not long after, Kemp took to the stage inside the Roxy Theater at The Battery to give his victory speech.
“Well, it looks like the reports of my political death have been greatly exaggerated,” Kemp told his supporters Tuesday night.
Gov. Kemp will join Channel 2 Action News at Noon, LIVE, to discuss his second term.
The governor said his policies over the last four years have made Georgia a better and stronger state.
“We did not get distracted on this hard-fought campaign,” Kemp said. “We (focused) on common sense solutions to put more of your hard-earned tax dollars back in your pocket.”
The governor said come January, he would be giving tax payers another refund and also promised relief on property taxes. He also said Georgia’s economy is better than it’s ever been.
“In Georgia, we have record low unemployment, the most people ever working in the history of our state, historic investment in rural Georgia,” he said.
At the beginning of the his run for reelection, Kemp, seemed on shaky ground among Republicans after the 2020 presidential election, when Trump blamed him for not doing enough to overturn President Joe Biden’s narrow win in Georgia. Trump helped lure former U.S. Sen. David Perdue into a primary challenge to Kemp, whom he called a “complete and total failure.”
But Kemp motored away from Perdue during the GOP primary, winning nearly 74% of the vote. Kemp patiently explained his election actions to Republicans even as he used his office to sign conservative-pleasing bills loosening gun laws, cutting taxes and banning “divisive concepts” in schools.
- LIVE UPDATES: All eyes on Georgia as last votes come in overnight
- Fulton County fires 2 poll workers after concerns over social media posts
- Brad Raffensperger wins 2nd term as Georgia Secretary of State, praises smooth election
While many incumbents are weakened by serious primary challenges, Kemp appeared to be strengthened. Trump’s attacks gave Kemp credibility with the narrow margin of Georgia voters who are willing to consider voting for either party, a largely white, college educated and suburban demographic.
During his victory speech Tuesday night, Kemp highlighted his stewardship of the state economy and his decision to relax public restrictions early in the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the extreme left in Washington came after him when he knew Georgia would remain strong.
“This was an unprecedented challenge we had never faced before. There was no playbook. There was no widely accepted path forward. No silver bullet that could bring back our normal way of life,” Kemp said. “They came after us, but the truth was on our side. They attacked us because even when times were tough, and decisions were hard to make, we did the right thing for hard working Georgians and their families. We did not waiver. We hunkered down and by God, we kept choppin’.”
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
Kemp’s speech came shortly after Abrams conceded the race to him.
“I may no longer be seeking the office of governor, but I will never stop doing everything in my power to ensure the people of Georgia have a voice,” she said.
Abrams said she got into this race for reason only -- to fight for Georgians.
“Even during these trying times, the fighting spirit of Georgia has prevailed,” Abrams said. “I got into this race for one reason and one reason only, to fight. And not just any fight, a fight to save Georgia.”
This was the second match up for the pair. Abrams, a lawyer whose 2018 loss to Kemp helped launch her into Democratic stardom, would have been the first Black woman to serve as a governor in the United States if she had won.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
IN OTHER NEWS:
©2022 Cox Media Group