Molly Prince, DCNF
The Democratic Party of Georgia tried purchasing airtime on Friday to run campaign ads on a local Atlanta channel on behalf of gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Abrams and the Democratic Party attempted to buy a $250,000 advertisement on Atlanta-based WSB-TV in order to promote a gubernatorial runoff despite her Republican challenger, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, winning over 50 percent of the vote. In the state of Georgia, a runoff is only triggered if neither candidate reaches at least half of the total votes.
The ad request, which was reportedly approved by Abrams and would have been paid for through her campaign funds, may have violated campaign finance laws since a runoff election has not been declared and is thereby not a sanctioned election.
“Stacey Abrams’ ambitions of getting a TV talk show or running for office again as an aggrieved member of our victim culture are leading her to make reckless and illegal decisions,” said John Watson, chairman of the Georgia GOP. “Her actions are harmful to Georgians who want to come together and work for the future. She is putting herself above the will of Georgians and is damaging to our state.”
Abrams’ campaign argued that they believe there will be enough votes to ultimately trigger a runoff.
“The Abrams for Governor campaign has promised the people of Georgia that we will fight to ensure that every vote is counted, and we will uphold that promise,” Abrams’ campaign said in a statement. “We believe that this race will head into a runoff and we are ready to engage with voters about Abram’s bold vision for our state the moment a runoff is declared.”
“Brian Kemp may have tried to coronate himself after overseeing his own election,” the statement continued. “Georgia voters are going to insist that their voices be heard.”
WSB-TV rejected the ad request, stating that the station “is not accepting any political ads until the vote is certified by the state and runoffs are official.”
Watson commended the decision.
“WSB-TV made the right decision to honor the law and the facts of this election and reject the Abrams run-off ad,” said Watson. “There is no run-off election for Governor, and after every vote is counted, there will not be one. Abrams should concede immediately.”
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