Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

In Georgia, a cacophony of arguments could tilt House race

In Georgia, a cacophony of arguments could tilt House race

The showdown is also considered the most expensive US House of Representatives race in the nation's history. Yes, it's just one congressional seat and special elections aren't necessarily good bellwethers of election results more than a year down the road.

With a potential price tag exceeding $50 million, the most expensive House race in USA history has become a proxy for the nation's political divides, offering another early test for Trump and the GOP's monopoly in Washington.

Voters on Tuesday choose between Ralph Norman, a Republican backing the Trump administration, and Archie Parnell, a Democrat who says he is best aligned to represent voters' interests, in a district that was a Democratic stronghold for more than a century until Republican Mulvaney rode into office on a tea party wave in 2010.

The closely watched congressional special election in Georgia is tomorrow, and Republicans are more than a little nervous about losing a seat they assumed would be theirs indefinitely.

Few if any people are casting the SC race as a referendum on Trump's presidency; Trump won the district easily in 2016.

Campaign finance filings show that as of May 31, Democrat Jon Ossoff had raised more than $23 million since entering the race to replace Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services. He reminded his former constituents of the district's GOP pedigree, electing eventual Speaker Newt Gingrich and future U.S. Sen.

Although Ossoff doesn't describe his campaign as a referendum on the Trump presidency, others see national implications for the 2018 midterm election.

With Democrats potentially striking the first blow against Trump in 2017, the race has drawn substantial attention on the national stage - and vast contributions from across the country to both candidates. After the gunman's death, Handel and her neighbors received threatening letters that included white powder, forcing police to shut down the neighborhood (it turned out to be baking powder). Both candidates crisscrossed the district ahead of Tuesday's vote to rally their core supporters. That's double the number of people who voted early in April, when Ossoff almost won the race outright.

"It's a race that we have to win", said Georgia state Sen.

With recent polls showing Ossoff narrowly leading Handel in the traditionally GOP district, Republicans are hoping to stave off defeat.

Politico reported on Sunday that the Georgia race is "too close to call". Winning in this once-safe GOP district would follow House special election victories this year in GOP-held districts in Kansas and Montana.

As reported in April, Ossoff can not even vote for himself, because he does not now live in the congressional district he wants to represent.

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