Jun 20, 2017

Handel defeats Ossoff in Georgia special election

Results from the runoff for the House seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, where Karen Handel (R) has defeated Jon Ossoff (D):

Key takeaways:

  • This was the most expensive House race in history, and it was a true toss-up coming into election day. The district typically votes Republican, but Democrats were desperate to gain their first high-profile victory of the Trump era.
  • The Trump factor: This race was billed as a referendum on Trump, and the president intervened with tweets blasting Ossoff for living outside the district, but Handel tried to steer clear of Trump for the most part.
  • Our thought bubble: Yes, this is a Republican district, but this is still a big loss for the Dems. They pulled out all the stops here, and had historic fundraising and a historically unpopular president going for them, and still fell short.

Reactions:Trump Tweets: "Thank you @FoxNews 'Huge win for President Trump and GOP in Georgia Congressional Special Election.'" Later — "Congratulations to Karen Handel on her big win in Georgia 6th. Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!"Kellyanne Conway piles on: "Laughing my #Ossoff," later — @karenhandel thanks for standing strong, for running on issues, for being a grownup and for living in the district. Welcome to Congress."Ossoff concedes: "The fight goes on. Hope is still alive."Handel speaks: She offered a "special thanks to the President of the United States of America" and said the shooting in Virginia last week showed political discourse in the U.S. needs to change.Paul Ryan congratulates: "Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race but Karen would not be defeated."Elsewhere:Republican Ralph Norman beat Democrat Archie Parnell in the race for Budget Director Mick Mulvaney's South Carolina House seat — but by a much closer than expected 3.2%.

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