April 24, 2017

House Election-Georgia story

21 April 2017, 07:03 | Darin Griffith

Joe Raedle Getty Images Jon Ossoff

Stakes high for Trump Democrats in Georgia House race

The election was for the seat vacated by Republican Tom Price - who won with almost 62 per cent of the vote past year - after United States President Donald Trump appointed him Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, lagged in a distant second, qualifying her for the runoff. 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.

Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton previous year, and Republicans have controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress since January.

A Georgia congressional election in a historically conservative district is headed to a runoff that raises the stakes in an early measure for President Donald Trump and both major parties ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Ossoff earned 48.1 percent in Tuesday's election to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, barely eclipsing Clinton's performance, according to Real Clear Politics.

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It also serves notice that GOP candidates may always struggle to handle Trump's polarizing effects; he engenders an intense loyalty among his core supporters but alienates many independents and even Republicans. "Glad to be of help!" "Do they get behind her or do they not?"

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Wednesday that Trump will campaign for Handel "if needed", saying Trump is prepared to do "everything he can to maintain majorities to further the party".

"The reaction has been that they nearly won - no, they lost", Mr Spicer insisted.

"Also last night, Democrat Jacqueline C. Smith also pulled out an 8-point win over a Virginia Republican heavyweight in a local clerk of court race in Prince William County, VA.", the DNC said in an email circulated on Wednesday. "We have defied the odds. shattered expectations", Ossoff told supporters, adding that they'd "carry us to victory" in June.

The National Right to Life Victory Fund was actively involved in the April 18 special election in Georgia's sixth district.

With the slogan "Make Trump Furious", Ossoff aims to galvanize opposition to a president struggling with an approval rating that has not topped 50 percent since he took office on January 20, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. One of Handel's Republican opponents in the 6th District special election used this record against her in an ad that noted "Over the last 15 years, Karen Handel has run six times for five different offices". "Anything short of describing that as a loss is sort of inconceivable to me in the sense that they literally said that is what they said would do".

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