GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has resigned as Georgia's secretary of state, he announced Thursday.
As the state's top election official, Kemp faced pressure to step down as he took on Democrat Stacey Abrams in Georgia's too-close-to-call gubernatorial race. But he remained in office through Election Day, only leaving to move forward with the gubernatorial transition, The Washington Post writes, since he has declared victory in the still-contested race.
Kemp's recent tenure was plagued with allegations of voter suppression, especially against minority voters. An investigation by The Associated Press showed Kemp had "purged" 1.4 million voters' registrations since 2012, and a follow-up lawsuit alleged that Kemp's "exact match" policy prevented thousands of voters from re-registering. Judges eventually ruled to halt Kemp's policy, restoring 53,000 Georgians' rights to vote. Still, critics said Kemp's oversight of his own election was fishy even without suppression allegations.
The race still hasn't been called, and Abrams has said the number of still-uncounted votes should lead to a December runoff, reports AP. Kemp's resignation is effective at 11:59 a.m. Thursday. Kathryn Krawczyk