Republicans Kick Ossoff in Georgia 6th Special Election
Republican Karen Handel won the Georgia 6th Congressional District special election against Democrat Jon Ossoff Tuesday night with 53 percent of the vote, becoming the state’s first female Republican in Congress.
Handel won 61 percent of the vote in Cobb County and 53 percent of the vote in Fulton. Ossoff maintained a slight edge in Dekalb County with 58 percent of the vote.
Though the runoff in North Metro Atlanta is just one of several, (South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District special election occurred on the same night), it has made national headlines as being the most expensive race in history.
Furthermore, media pundits considered the election a test to see if Democrats could take advantage of the “Trump Resistance” to flip traditionally Republican districts. If the election was a test, the Democrats may have gotten their Osses handed to them, but they came extremely close to winning. Ossoff garnered 47 percent of the vote in a typically deep-red district.
The Ossoff campaign’s message Tuesday night was one of optimism.
“For months, this community in Georgia has been a beacon of hope for people across the country,” Ossoff tweeted. “We showed the world that in places no one even thought it was possible to fight, we can fight. And we will fight..It’s extraordinary what this community has achieved– an unprecedented grassroots effort.”
Greg Williams, a Handel campaign volunteer and Atlanta-based radio host, said the close race was unsurprising because it was the Democrat’s first opportunity to mobilize in Georgia after President Trump’s November victory. Ossoff was well-funded and had ties to the Democratic party machine, he said. Furthermore, Ossoff’s message engaged his Democratic base but also appealed to more moderate voters.
However, Williams correctly predicted that the president did not dissuade Sixth District Republicans from showing support for Handel.
The question remains: will president’s coattails will extend to the upcoming midterms? Or will the Democrats will learn from Ossoff’s mistakes?