Kemp claims victory, steps down as secretary of state

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp claimed victory in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election, even if his opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, has not yet conceded.

Kemp, a Republican, resigned his post, and Gov. Nathan Deal appointed former Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Robyn A. Crittenden to serve as secretary of state.

“Robyn’s experience as an attorney, public servant and agency head make her exceptionally qualified to fill the role of Georgia’s secretary of state,” Deal in a news release. “She is a leader with brilliant intellect, high integrity, and a wide range of experience in public service. Robyn has been one of the most effective leaders within my administration and she is well-qualified to fill one of the most important jobs in state government. I appreciate her willingness to fill this role and I thank Gov.-elect Kemp for his leadership as secretary of state.”

Crittenden is the first black woman to serve as a statewide constitutional officer in Georgia history. In 2015, Deal appointed Crittenden as DHS commissioner after she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

Following Crittenden’s swearing-in ceremony today, Deal nominated Gerlda B. Hines, chief of staff and chief financial officer of DHS, to be the interim DHS commissioner, pending board approval.

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