Stacey Abrams will become the first female black governor in U.S. if she wins Georgia race

Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams is vying to become the first female black governor in United States history.

The 44-year-old, who served as minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017, is locked in a tight race with the southern state’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Abrams has been able to count on support from several heavyweight African-American icons, including former president Barack Obama and entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Kemp had 66.2 per cent of the vote to Abrams’ 33.2 per cent as of 8:04 p.m. ET, with two per cent of votes reporting.

The contentious gubernatorial race between Abrams and Kemp has been marred by accusations of voter suppression.

Last month, the group Black Voters Matter, which encourages African-Americans to vote, said that some 40 black residents of a senior living centre were told to get off a bus taking them to a polling place to cast their early ballots.

Also in October, former voting rights advocacy groups sued Kemp, whose role of secretary of state makes him Georgia’s top election official, accusing him of placing voter registrations on hold to boost his campaign.

This past weekend, Kemp’s office said it was investigating the Georgia Democratic Party in connection with an alleged attempt to hack the state’s online voter database.

His office offered no evidence to support its claim, but the allegation nevertheless became a flashpoint in the race.

Abrams slammed the allegation as a “hoax,” while President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Kemp, said he didn’t know about the issue.

— With files from the Associated Press

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