Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

The political world waits on Georgia race, Ossoff


On the heels of Tuesday's special election for the 6th congressional district seat in the Georgia House, Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff have become household names across much of the nation.

"It's a test case for how far a Democratic candidate can go in a Republican district on the strength of opposition to Trump", said Todd Rehm, a Georgia Republican strategist who is not affiliated with any candidate in the race. Coming in second place was Republican former Secretary of State Karen Handel with 19 percent.

Democrat Jon Ossoff drew 48.1 percent of the vote in Tuesday's special election, just shy of the 50 percent needed to win the most closely watched USA congressional race since Trump took office in January.

Despite Ossoff's significant financial advantage, a slew of liberal celebrities boosting his profile, and a Democratic base eager to tag a win against Trump, the documentary filmmaker-turned-politician failed to reach the 50 percent threshold required to avoid a runoff.

In a special election to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, who stepped down to serve as secretary of health and human services, Ossoff almost pulled off an upset.

Although the Georgia race has received the most attention, it's not the only special House election to make waves this year.

DuBose Porter, chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party, said the 6th District offers the flawless setting for state and national Democrats to prove their momentum heading into 2018.

Pundits said Mrs Handel will likely win the run-off, but on Tuesday the Republican said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "Beating Ossoff and holding this seat is something that rises above any one person".

"Despite major outside money, FAKE media support & eleven Republican candidates, BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia", Trump tweeted. Crediting himself, Trump added, "Glad to be of help!"

"Secretaries of state matter, and when they're good, then people can actually vote who are eligible to vote".

Republicans say they could beat Ossoff in a one-on-one contest.

Georgia's 6th Congressional District has been a traditional Republican stronghold, represented in the 1980s and early 1990s by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. They said their goal was to get over 50 percent. Ossoff's total was more than double that of the highest Republican vote-getter, but the 11 Republicans in the race captured a combined 51 percent of the vote.

As for whether Trump will campaign with Handel, Spicer said: "We'll see if we're needed".

"This is already a victory for the ages", Ossoff told supporters at an election night watch party shortly before midnight.

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