Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams announced that she would end her run in Georgia’s closely watched election late Friday afternoon, ending her bid to become the country’s first Black woman governor. Abrams made it clear, however, that she was not conceding the race.

“I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial elections,” Abrams said in a press conference ahead of news that the election would be called in favor of her opponent. “But to watch an elected official, who claims to represent the people of the state, baldly place his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote has been truly appalling.”

She continued: “So let’s be clear: This is not a speech of concession. Because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that.”

Abrams also announced that while she’s ending her run for the Georgia governorship, she will be filing a federal lawsuit against Governor-elect Brian Kemp for what she calls “gross mismanagement” of Georgia’s elections. That could, in turn trigger a civil rights case that might set an exciting new precedent for how politicians treat racialized and other historically disenfranchised communities during elections.

Throughout the 2018 midterm cycle, all eyes were on Georgia. With Kemp refusing to step down as Georgia attorney general while running for governor, he was accused of having a deep conflict of interest. And during the campaign, Kemp purged voter rolls of more than 50,000 voters, the majority of whom were Black.

In his acceptance, Kemp did not respond to Abrams’ plan to sue the state in federal court. “The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward,” Kemp said late Friday. “We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future.”

(Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)