Georgia Special Election: Ossoff Falls Short, Faces Karen Handel
Georgia Special Election: Ossoff Falls Short, Faces Karen Handel
20 Abril, 2017, 07:13
By midnight, the New York Times showed Ossoff had won 48.6 percent of the vote, compared to Handel's 19.5 percent. Handel received almost 20%. That left uncounted tens of thousands of votes that were likely to push Ossoff below 50 percent.
Speaking before all the votes were counted, Ossoff said he has "shattered expectations", and will be ready to "fight on and win in June, if it is necessary", which it is.
(AP Photo/John Bazemore). Supporters of Democratic candidate for Georgia's Sixth Congressional Seat Jon Ossoff hold signs near a poll location Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Marietta, Ga.
Republicans in the race are split among Trump supporters and candidates trying to hold the president at arm's length.
Ossoff has faced criticism for the amount of money coming from outside the region and the fact that while he's originally from the district, he doesn't currently live there now.
The president took to Twitter on Tuesday morning, declaring Ossoff "would be a disaster in Congress". The president barely edged Hillary Clinton here in November, falling short of a majority four years after Republican Mitt Romney got more than 60 percent of the presidential vote. While some pragmatic leaders continue to fight for the traditional Democratic values which have long-defined our party, the "resistance" to President Trump is more concerned with obstructing Republicans and has no plans to enact the economic policies or health care reforms that hard-working Americans deserve. "So of course he has a vested interest in making sure that a Republican holds the seat". "Say NO", he tweeted at the start of election day.
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The special election became a locus of national attention, and brought the type of politics more associated with swing states to leafy Atlanta suburbs filled with office parks and corporate headquarters. "I wouldn't use the word referendum", said spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "I think he hopes to have a Republican elected".
An investigative filmmaker, Ossoff drew donors and volunteers from well beyond metro Atlanta, raising a sum that dwarfed what any Republican candidate has spent on the contest. Democrat Christine Triebsch and Republican Kay Kirkpatrick are the two candidates vying for the District 32 state senate seat.
While Handel kept her distance from Trump, Ossoff launched his bid with an email solicitation inviting liberals to "Make Trump Furious". But he told voters in one ad, "I'll work with anybody in Washington who respects your tax dollars". He's decried "wasteful spending" and promised to be a "bipartisan problem solver".
The Republicans didn't win, whatever Trump wants to pretend.
It still wasn't enough for voters like Matt West, a 45-year-old financial planner from Roswell.
DuBose Porter, chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party, said the district offers the flawless setting for Democrats to prove their momentum heading into 2018. Ossoff's vote is nearly exactly at the level where FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver gave him even odds of winning (or losing) a runoff.
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United States president Donald Trump faced the first electoral challenge of his presidency on Tuesday night, as Republicans failed to secure a key congressional seat in the Republican heartland of Georgia, prompting a run-off on June 20th.
Ossoff, a former Capitol Hill staffer who lives just outside the district, now has one last shot to use these factors to his advantage.
Whatever the outcome, the race highlights Republican candidate's challenge in dealing with the president: He still engenders intense loyalty among his core supporters, but alienates many independents and some Republicans.
The Republican National Committee praised Handel's performance, with Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel congratulating her "for emerging from a large and qualified Republican field".
"Republican voters are not going to sit by and let this district go to a Democrat", Handel said at one of her final campaign stops.
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White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump would campaign in Georgia for Handel "if needed" but dismissed the race as overhyped. Tom Price , was re-elected in 2016 by more than 20 points, and Mitt Romney had carried the district by 23 points in 2012.
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