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Democrat Congressional Candidate Exceeds Expectations

21 April 2017, 05:34 | Darin Griffith

Democrat Jon Ossoff came within a hair's breadth of dealing a major blow to President Trump Tuesday night, leading a crowded field of nearly a dozen Republicans but falling just short of winning a Georgia Congressional seat outight.

Trump, who attacked Ossoff in recent days as a liberal shill and mocked him for living outside of the district, crowed Wednesday on Twitter about the outcome in Georgia following Democrats' failure to win a different special election in Kansas last week.

President Trump tweeted congratulations to former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel for managing to claw her way into a runoff.

As of publishing time, with more than five-sixths of precincts reporting, Ossoff had won 48.6 percent of the vote in the 18-candidate field, and Handel 19.5 percent.

While Mr. Ossoff failed to clear the 50 percent threshold and avoid a runoff, he created a sense of panic within the GOP that he represents a new wave of anti-Trump candidates for energized Democrats looking to score big gains in the 2018 midterms. When Price gave up the seat to join Donald Trump's cabinet, the question wasn't whether he'd be replaced by a Republican, but rather, which one.

That is crucial if Democrats are to have a shot at reaching their stated objective: reclaiming control of the House of Representatives in next year's mid-term elections.

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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. If she can't, then Ossoff has a chance of winning in June. We hope tonight's landslide will encourage the Democratic Party to support progressive candidates that are capable of defeating Trump and his enablers. But he fell short of the majority needed to win outright.

Pete Korman, 6th District voter, said national enthusiasm for Ossoff has been frustrating to watch, but he thinks Handel will win voters in the 6th.

Trump won the district by only 1.5 percentage points in November against Democrat Hillary Clinton, who drew support from its many college graduates.

"Those who want to have a debate about values, a debate about - say - women's health care, I say, to borrow a phrase, bring it on", Handel told a cheering crowd.

With just two candidates in the race, Republicans are vowing to close ranks behind Handel's candidacy. But it will require picking up more than 20 seats and winning over droves of voters like those in the affluent, well-educated Georgia district that spans Atlanta's northern suburbs.



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