John Barrow

Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP, File

The losing Democrat in Georgia's runoff election for secretary of state says he wishes his Republican rival "every success" as the state's new elections chief.

Former congressman John Barrow conceded the race in a statement Wednesday. He was defeated in the Tuesday runoff by Republican state Rep. Brad Raffensperger, who'll take over as secretary of state in January.

Barrow had said earlier Wednesday he wasn't ready to concede because there were still outstanding absentee votes to be counted.

Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

Republican Brad Raffensperger won a runoff election Tuesday to become Georgia's next secretary of state, taking over the office at the center of a debate over voter access and election security in the Southern state.

Raffensperger, a state lawmaker from suburban Atlanta, defeated former Democratic congressman John Barrow to become Georgia's top elections official, the office vacated by Gov.-elect Brian Kemp.

At his victory party late Tuesday, Raffensperger told supporters he would faithfully carry out elections in Georgia.

Georgia Voters Choosing-Again-Who Will Oversee Elections

Dec 4, 2018

It's Election Day in Georgia — again — giving voters one more chance to choose who will respond to demands to change the state's elections infrastructure.

Tuesday's runoff will decide whether a Republican or a Democrat will run future elections after the contentious gubernatorial contest between Gov.-elect Brian Kemp and challenger Stacey Abrams. Kemp remained secretary of state until after the general election, infuriating Democrats who called it a conflict of interest and accused him of suppressing minority votes.