Georgia House race to high-stakes runoff as Trump wades in
20 April, 2017, 08:56 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
In what many observers viewed as a major blow to Donald Trump and the Republicans, Democrat Jon Ossoff secured 48 per cent in an election for Georgia's sixth congressional district, a seat that had previously been occupied by Tom Price, now the president's health secretary.
But others, like Meredith Trotta and her 14-year-old daughter Lily Parzych, who moved to the South from CT six years ago, said the campaign has given them a much-needed outlet for their frustration. Handel, who took 19.8 percent, is a former Georgia secretary of state and chair of the Fulton County Commission who has unsuccessfully run for governor and Senate. It has remained a Republican fortress since 1978 when it was won by Newt Gingrich, the future speaker of the House of Representatives who led a Republican revolution in the 1990s. His strong showing in the conservative district, driven by eye-popping fundraising numbers from out-of-state donors, underscored Democrats' eagerness to get a win against Trump as they strive to take back House control in 2018.
JACKSON: Is he expending too much political capital on a race that Republicans should be winning easily? He still engenders an intense loyalty among his core supporters but alienates many independents and even Republicans, leaving him unable to command a majority of the electorate.
Earlier Wednesday, at 12:09 a.m. after major news organizations had called the race, the president fired off a tweet saying despite a haul of "outside money" and "FAKE media support" amid a crowded GOP field, Handel had pulled off a "BIG "R" win".
"This is not about me".
"Some Democrats are progressive, and some Democrats are not", the 2016 presidential candidate added.
Jon Ossoff, 30, hopes to capitalize on Trump's lackluster popularity and make the race for a congressional seat long held by Republicans a litmus test of the president's first 100 days.
Put plainly: If Tuesday's vote was a referendum on Trump, then the president won. Ossoff has been in the national headlines for weeks, as it became clear he had a unique chance to turn a red district blue. That would appear to match the final outcome that saw all the Republicans combining for about 51 percent of the vote to Democrats' 49 percent.
A political action committee backed by Ryan and other House GOP leaders funneled more than $2 million into attacks on Ossoff, tying him to national Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Ossoff is a former congressional aide who has also worked as an executive producer for a handful of news documentaries, while Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state, according to the New York Times. She said would work with Trump when it made sense for the district. I mean, look, we - all Republicans, it is all hands on deck for us. "But my job is not to go to Congress as a rubber stamp for anybody".
Georgia's 6th District is in the relatively affluent and conservative suburbs of Atlanta. And while Handel tweeted thanking Trump for a call after last night's election, it's unclear whether his involvement is more of a help or a hindrance for her prospects - and other Republicans in tough races.
Associated Press reporter Catherine Lucey in Washington and Kathleen Foody in Alpharetta, Ga., contributed.
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