Republican Karen Handel Beats Democrat Jon Ossoff In The Georgia Special Election

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06.20.17 61 Comments

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Back in April, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel won the top two spots in Georgia’s special election for Health Secretary Tom Price’s vacated seat. Since Ossoff didn’t capture 50% or more of the vote (he did get close), thus began the race for a runoff in the state’s traditionally red sixth Congressional district. Even though Handel pulled in less than 20% when stacked against other GOP candidates, Republican voters rallied for her in the end, and she won Tuesday night’s race — quite easily, in fact — with an estimated 52.5% of the vote over Ossoff’s 47.5%.

This special election (the most expensive House race in U.S. history) drew plenty of national focus because there was so much more at stake than a mere Congressional seat. An Ossoff victory would have served as the first special election Democratic victory since last year’s presidential election. Although such a win obviously wouldn’t have single-handedly tipped the balance in Congress, it could have acted as a predictor to 2018’s midterm elections. And it would have dealt a significant blow to GOP confidence after several shaky months of a Republican presidency.

However, Ossoff couldn’t pull this win off, and plenty of think-piece analysis will undoubtedly follow across the Internet.

The 30-year-old Democrat gave his concession speech shortly after the race was called. He maintained an optimistic vibe while acknowledging how the district’s deck was stacked against him. He also encouraged his fellow party members not to give up “at a time when politics has been dominated by fear.”

During Handel’s victory speech, she paid tribute to ailing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise while telling her supporters (and detractors) that the congressional baseball field shooting proves that the U.S. needs to find “a more civil way to deal with our disagreements.”

Results are still arriving, but they’re not expected to change much. We’ll update this post as the night continues.

(Via CNN)

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