Novice Democrat tops Georgia race, but faces runoff

Miranda GreerApr 20, 2017

Jon Ossoff, 30, fell short of the 50% needed to win outright in a congressional vote in Georgia and there will be a run-off. "And while Republicans have their backs against the wall, Democrats will keep their foot on the gas through Election Day because the residents of Georgia's 6district deserve a representative who will fight for them", he said.

The nearest Republican - former state secretary of state Karen Handel - came in at just 19.8 per cent.

Outside groups poured millions into the nationally-watched contest, which was widely viewed as an early indicator of Trump's popularity as he closed out his first 100 days in office.

Because the liberal candidate was not able to cross the 50 percent threshold, he will now compete in a runoff on June 20th against Handel.

"Republicans are united and ready to do everything we can to elect Karen to Congress", National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement.

Ossoff, she continued, "Would be another vote for Nancy Pelosi and going to Washington and saying I won't do anything".

Ossoff earned 48.1 percent in Tuesday's election to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, barely eclipsing Clinton's performance, according to Real Clear Politics.

An Ossoff win would not tip the balance of power in Washington but could weaken the already shaky hold Trump has on his fellow Republicans by encouraging lawmakers to distance themselves from him.

The president tweeted early Wednesday morning, "Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia". He also dismissed Republican claims that he did not live in the district, pointing out that he grew up there and was now living with his girlfriend one mile outside the boundary. Under the so-called "jungle primary" system, the top two candidates - Ossoff and Handel - will head into the June runoff.

During today's White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked to provide the administration's thoughts on yesterday's special House election in Georgia's Sixth District. "This should be a wake-up call for the Republican Party in the South", he told NBC's "Today" show.

"This is a district very close on the presidential level last cycle and the Democrats went all in on this". She added that when it comes to balancing the budget and repealing Obamacare, both Handel and Trump are for the people.

The sweetness of victory that Republicans enjoyed last November may now seem more bitter than defeat.

Handel, too, made sure to address her opponent's out-of-state supporters.

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