(RNN) - Democrat Stacey Abrams said she would not continue to try to contest the Georgia governor’s race on Friday.
Stressing that it was “not a speech of concession," she said that she did not want to hold public office “if I need to scheme my way into the post.”
Republican former Secretary of State Brian Kemp led the vote on election night, and a series of legal rulings allowed the Abrams campaign to continue to get votes counted.
But in the past days, the additional votes did not bring Kemp below the 50 percent threshold needed to secure the governorship, and to allow Abrams to force a runoff.
In her speech Friday in Atlanta, Abrams fiercely criticized Kemp, who in his former position oversaw the election between his Democratic challenger and himself.
She said “the state failed its voters" and noted that more than a million people “found their names stripped from the rolls by the secretary of state” and that tens of thousands were held in limbo with their ballots rejected “due to human error and a system of suppression that had already proven its bias.”
“Democracy failed Georgia,” Abrams said.
In a statement following Abrams' speech, Kemp said, “The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward. We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future.”
Abrams said that she was not conceding, because a concession “means to acknowledge an action is true or right or proper, and I cannot concede that.”
But, she added, “My assessment is the law currently allows no further viable remedy.”
Abrams also announced she was launching a statewide organization, “Fair Fight Georgia,” and would be filing a “major lawsuit" for the “gross mismanagement” of the election.
The group’s website says: “We know that elections in Georgia, and throughout much of our country, are not fair. Voters are being suppressed and disenfranchised systematically. We are fighting to change that.”
Campaign Manager Lauren Groh-Wargo tweeted, “Stacy Abrams would probably be gov if it would have been a #fairfight. But here we are, we will #keepfighting. Coming soon: all of this knowledge, analysis and info on what happened, collected by our staff and vols, will be poured into a major lawsuit to force reform.”