District 6 heads to runoff with Ossoff, Handel

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District 6 heads to runoff with Ossoff, Handel

"Dems failed in Kansas and are now failing in Georgia".

In second place in the special election, but lagging far behind with just under 20 percent of the vote, was Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state well known to voters. And perhaps more significantly, Georgia Democrats have a poor record historically in two-party runoff elections (for example, Democrat Jim Martin lost to Republican Saxby Chambliss by almost 15 points in a 2008 Senate runoff).

Price resigned in February when he was confirmed as the new secretary of health and human services. Republicans hold a 237-193 majority in the House so Democrats would need to pick up more than 20 seats to retake control in the 2018 midterm, an uphill climb.

DuBose Porter, chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party, said the district offers the flawless setting for Democrats to prove their momentum heading into 2018.

The Ossoff campaign was greatly hoping to avoid the runoff as Georgia's 6th district has been a GOP stronghold for generations, and with a crowded Republican field, Ossoff hoped to benefit from the fractured Republican block.

Trump has, of course, tweeted about the election and was subsequently shut down by actress Alyssa Milano.

In the case of Georgia's special election for the Sixth Congressional District seat, Ossoff received 48.1 percent of the vote, meaning he will face the contender who received the next highest percentage of the vote (Republican Karen Handel at 19.8 percent) in a two-candidate runoff election in June. Crediting himself, Trump added, "Glad to be of help!"

The district, which encompasses a stretch of well-heeled suburbs north of Atlanta, has elected Republicans to the House since the late 1970s, but Trump carried it by only 1 percentage point in the November presidential election.

Enthusiastic Democrats were hopeful that their candidate Jon Ossoff might take advantage of an electorate energized to oppose Trump, and the media did their part to hype up the event.

Trump was heavily invested in the race and in a tweet claimed victory, although Ossoff could still win in the runoff.

Under Georgia law, the election was not split into Republican and Democratic primaries, but was a free-for-all with 18 candidates.

"We have an awesome chance here, an extraordinary moment for Georgia", Ossoff told campaign volunteers as they headed out for a final round of door-knocking on Monday afternoon.

National Republican groups spent millions of dollars painting Ossoff as a neophyte who does not live in the area he aims to represent. "But my job.is to be the representative for the people of the 6th District, and that's what I believe regardless of who is the president".

For Democrats, Ossoff's near win encourages the opposition movement that has flourished since Trump's election.

In a sign of the increasing anxiety among the Republican establishment, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a key Republican funder, ran a series of ad campaigns, lambasting Mr Ossoff and portrayingh him as a "yes man" to House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.

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