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US Democrats aim to 'make Trump furious' in Georgia election

20 April, 2017, 13:31 | Author: Mae Harvey

Ossoff challenges Republican front-runner Karen Handel in the June 20 runoff election to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price.

Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff will meet in a runoff for a greater Atlanta congressional seat with national implications. If Ossoff had won at least 50%, he would have secured the seat outright.

Because the liberal candidate was not able to cross the 50 percent threshold, he will now compete in a runoff on June 20th against Handel.

In what was touted by the media as a possible rebuke to the Trump presidency and a foreshadowing of a tough midterm election, the Georgia sixth congressional district election instead disappointed Democrats and allowed President Trump to declare victory Tuesday.

With few other events on the political calendar, the race was billed as a referendum on President Trump's first few months in office. Trump also commented on the funding in a tweet after the primary Tuesday night.

Ossoff, who had predicted an outright victory, nonetheless said the outcome was a win.

The district covers many northern suburbs of the Atlanta area.

While Democrats can savor the moral victory of almost snatching a seat outright in a Republican stronghold, they will need to translate anti-Trump fury and substantial fundraising into concrete ballot-box results if they are to mount a viable comeback.

National Republicans, hamstrung by a convoluted 11-candidate field in their own party, responded to Ossoff in force. Bernie Sanders have been traveling nationwide to rally Democratic support, and he told the "Morning Joe" program that the goal is to "get back to basics".

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer echoed the sentiment.

In several tweets on Tuesday, he said Ossoff was "very weak on crime and illegal immigration, bad for jobs and wants higher taxes" and urged Republicans to vote to force a run-off.

But Perez on Wednesday said Trump was celebrating too early, and the prevailing breezes still blew in Ossoff's direction for the June contest.

Early returns looked promising for Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide, who had 51 percent of the vote with 97 of 210 precincts reporting. For the second week in a row, Republicans have only narrowly held a formerly safe seat against a Democratic opponent.

"I think this was a big loss for them".

"There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages", said Ossoff.

As for whether Trump will campaign with Handel, Spicer said: "We'll see if we're needed". Last week, a House race in Kansas became unexpectedly competitive, with the GOP nominee defeating a Democrat by just seven points in a district Republicans won by more than 30 points in November.

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