Democrat John Barrow and Republican Brad Raffensperger appear to be headed for a December runoff election. File photos from The AJC.

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 file photo, Democrat Georgia Secretary of State candidate John Barrow speaks during a campaign stop at Daniel Field in Augusta, Ga. Barrow and Republican Brad Raffensperger are vying in a Dec. 4 runoff for Georgia secretary of state. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP, File)

Democrat Secretary of State candidate John Barrow speaks during a campaign stop in Augusta, Ga. Monday, December 3, 2018. Barrow is pitted against Republican Brad Raffensperger in a runoff that will be decided Tuesday. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)

Photo: � 2018 Cox Media Group. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Photo: � 2018 Cox Media Group. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Barrow concedes to Raffensperger in Georgia secretary of state race

Democrat John Barrow ended his run for Georgia secretary of state Wednesday, conceding that Republican Brad Raffensperger held an insurmountable lead.

Barrow, a former U.S. congressman, trailed Raffensperger by about 4 percentage points and 57,000 votes, according to preliminary results of Tuesday’s runoff election.

While thousands of absentee, provisional and overseas ballots could still be counted this week, Barrow said there weren’t enough votes outstanding to leave him much chance of overtaking Raffensperger.

Barrow congratulated Raffensperger and wished him success.

“Though the outcome was not what we had wanted, what we're working for is more important than ever: elections that are as fair and as accurate as they are secure,” Barrow said. “In these polarized times, that may seem like a never ending struggle, but it's a struggle that’s always worth the fight.”

Barrow campaigned for fair and accurate elections, saying the state should switch to hand-marked paper ballots and curtail broad cancellations of voter registrations.

Raffensperger emphasized voting integrity by continuing to cancel registrations of inactive voters and fight potential voter fraud, which is rare in part because of Georgia’s photo ID laws.

— Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.

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