The Latest: Georgia senator says arrest ‘breaks my heart’
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the still unresolved election for Georgia governor (all times local):
A Georgia state senator who was arrested during a Capitol demonstration over the state’s elections is warning fellow lawmakers “next time it could be you.”
Democratic Sen. Nikema Williams of Atlanta gave a tearful speech from the Senate floor Wednesday, the day after she and 14 protesters were jailed on misdemeanor charges. The demonstrators had been calling for uncounted ballots to be tallied.
Williams insisted she was not chanting, shouting or being disruptive. She said her arrest was “not something that I planned for and something that breaks my heart today.”
The Georgia Constitution says legislators “shall be free from arrest during sessions of the General Assembly … except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.”
Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle asked a GOP senator to meet with authorities “to look at the facts surrounding this issue” and seek a resolution.
After two federal court rulings and a flurry of legal filings over a 24-hour period, uncertainty still hangs over Georgia’s midterm elections, including the still undecided race for governor.
Unofficial results give Republican Brian Kemp a slim majority. But Democrat Stacey Abrams maintains that enough uncounted absentee, mail-in and provisional ballots remain to force a Dec. 4 runoff and keep alive her bid to become the first black woman in American history to be elected governor of a state.
In the week since voters went to the polls, arguments over certain provisional and absentee ballots have been presented before several different judges in federal court.
Secretary of State spokeswoman Candice Broce says all but 16 of the state’s 159 counties had certified their results by Tuesday evening.