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Nov. 5, 2018 / 4:19 PM GMT
By Allan Smith
Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp — who also oversees his state’s elections as secretary of state — told reporters on Monday he is “not worried about how it looks” to launch an investigation into his opponents just two days prior to Election Day.
“I’m doing my job,” Kemp said. “This is how we would handle any investigation when something like this comes up. Because I can assure you if I hadn’t done anything and the story came out that something was going on, you’d be going, ‘Why didn’t you act?'”
On Sunday, Kemp announced he was investigating Georgia’s Democratic Party for an attempted hack of the voter registration system. Kemp, who is locked in a neck-and-neck race with Democrat Stacey Abrams, did not provide evidence to back up the allegation.
Democrats blasted Kemp on Sunday, charging him with launching a shameless “political stunt” two days before Election Day.
Kemp’s office told NBC News on Sunday that the secretary of state would release additional information “as soon as we can.” That afternoon, Kemp’s office said he opened the investigation “after receiving information from our legal team about failed efforts to breach the online voter registration system and My Voter Page.”
In an interview with CNN, Abrams called the investigation “a witch hunt” created “by someone who is abusing his power.”
Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who’s locked in one of the nation’s most-watched Senate battles with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, told NBC News on Monday that he will not run for president in 2020.
“I will not be a candidate for president in 2020,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke, who is running in a close race with Cruz in the traditionally conservative state, has emerged as a Democratic star and is viewed by some as a viable 2020 presidential candidate — particularly if he can pull off an upset and defeat Cruz. But he has repeatedly denied that he will make a bid for the Oval Office in the next presidential election.
In Florida, Quinnipiac University found Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson leads GOP Gov. Rick Scott 51 percent to 44 percent in the battle for Senate. Meanwhile, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, tops former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis 50 percent to 43 percent. The margin of error was plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points
Those numbers represented two of the biggest leads Nelson and Gillum have in any Florida poll so far.
In New Jersey, Quinnipiac found that Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez was up on Republican challenger Bob Hugin 55 percent to 40 percent in its latest poll. That race had narrowed in recent weeks, but it appears that Menendez is regaining a substantial lead in the campaign’s final hours. The margin of error was plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.
Garrett Haake reported from Houston and Marianna Sotomayor from Atlanta.
Garrett Haake and Marianna Sotomayor contributed.