Updated at 5:33 p.m. ET

Republican Brian Kemp will be the next governor of Georgia, with Democrat Stacey Abrams admitting Friday afternoon that there was no path to victory, following a bitter 10-day battle since Election Day.

"I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election," Abrams said. "But to watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in this state baldly pin his hopes for election on suppression of the people's democratic right to vote has been truly appalling."

In a fiery speech, Abrams insisted this was no normal concession, decrying the voter suppression — at the hands of Kemp — she believed had led to this conclusion.

"I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right," Abrams said. She repeatedly criticized Kemp, who she said had been "deliberate and intentional in his actions" to suppress voters.

The contest between the two had been one of the most closely-watched — and bitter — of the cycle. Abrams, who was vying to become the first black woman ever elected governor in U.S. history, had alleged throughout the campaign that Kemp, who stepped down as secretary of state after the election, had been working to disenfranchise minority voters, deny or delay new registrations and purge voting rolls.

Those charges spilled out well beyond Nov. 6, with the race too close to call. Abrams had been fighting to include additional provisional and absentee ballots into the count, hoping that could help her close the roughly 18,000 vote deficit she needed to force a runoff next month.

"On election night, I declared that our fight to count every vote is not about me — it is about us. It is about the democracy that we share and the responsibility to preserve our way of life," she said Friday.

But with a 5 p.m. Friday deadline for all of Georgia's counties to certify their election results, a path for Abrams was looking slim. It's now up to interim secretary of state Robyn Crittenden to certify the state's results.

The Associated Press reported that the Abrams campaign had been considering additional legal challenges, including one before the state Supreme Court that was precipitated on a provision allowing losing candidate to challenge results based on "misconduct, fraud or irregularities ... sufficient to change or place in doubt the results."

And Abrams seemed to confirm that, announcing at her press conference that her campaign "will be filing a major federal lawsuit" against the state of Georgia "for the gross mismanagement of this election."

But Abrams also noted that she would "pray for the success of Brian Kemp that he will indeed be a leader of all Georgians."

In a statement following Abrams' remarks, Kemp said that he was looking forward to moving beyond the campaign and protracted ballot disputes.

"I appreciate her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service," Kemp said of Abrams. "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."

Kemp's campaign had long maintained they would be victorious and were preparing for a transition. They had previously ripped Abrams for her refusal to concede, calling it a "publicity stunt" and "temper tantrum."

But Abrams had vowed to press on for nearly two weeks, with her campaign framing it as a much bigger fight for voting rights, especially among minority voters.

And ultimately Abrams, the former state House minority leader, came much closer than any Georgia Democrat has in decades of flipping either the governor's mansion or a Senate seat, despite some other high-profile efforts. With the rapidly diversifying and growing Atlanta suburbs, Democrats have been arguing the state could turn blue, but this is the closest they've gotten to making that dream a reality.

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