Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Democrat closes in on Congress seat in Georgia


Jon Ossoff, a Democrat making his first bid for elective office, narrowly missed an outright win in a traditionally Republican House district in Georgia, a race seen as a referendum of President Donald Trump. As it is, he will go forward for a run-off on June 20th against Republican Karen Handel. The smart people have the runoff as "tight", and in even more grim news for Ossoff, upstart Democrats have been burned by this process before-in 2006, a Democratic candidate in a right-leaning California district took home almost 44 percent of votes in a special-election jungle primary, besting the Republican runner-up by almost 30 points, but then lost the runoff when the mostly Republican electorate united behind a single candidate.

The district was previously represented by Tom Price, who is now the Trump administration's Health and Human Services secretary. But now his press secretary insists that Tuesday's special congressional election, in which Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff came in first, "was a big loss" for Democrats.

Republican Karen Handel told supporters gathered in Roswell Tuesday night that by morning the campaign would start anew and called on Republicans to unite around her. "Glad to be of help!" he wrote late on Tuesday. [.] We fight on, we have defied the odds. The commitment from the GOP is unlikely to tail off, either, because the party's leaders believed that Ossoff's best chance to win was this month, not in June when the GOP can unite behind one candidate. Who won the Georgia special election?

After the June runoff between Ossoff and Handel was announced, Trump went back to Twitter to gloat.

Ossoff was backed by major Democratic PACs and raised $8.3 million this quarter, mostly from outside groups.

Handel on the other hand is backed by the billionaire Ricketts family, based in IL, and received $1.3 million in support from their Ending Spending political advocacy group.

"To Ossoff's credit, he got a lot of latent Democratic voters who probably haven't been participating in congressional elections because the election of a Republican had been a foregone conclusion", continued Gillepsie.

"I just wanted a Republican in there more than anything", said district voter James Cole as he left the East Cobb Church of Christ voting precinct about midday Tuesday.

"National Right to Life is pleased to endorse Karen Handel, whose position on life reflects the true values of Georgia's voters", said Karen Cross, National Right to Life political director. Handel came in second with just shy of 20 percent of the vote. "I think we did pretty well in November, and we continue to pick up seats around the country at different levels, so I feel very confident about the state of the party", he said.

Handel lost a 2010 race for governor and a 2014 Republican Senate primary and was accused of overspending as a county commissioner in a 2017 jungle primary attack ad from the conservative Club for Growth. "Of course he has a vested interest in making sure that a Republican holds the seat". Ossoff ended up with 48 percent of the voted, lower than the clear marjority he would have needed for an outright win.

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