Republican Handel wins Georgia House election



Democrats also lost a special election in neighbouring SC on Tuesday, where Republican Ralph Norman easily prevailed over Democrat Archie Parnell in a seat formerly held by Republican Mick Mulvaney, who is now serving as Trump's budget director.

Karen Handel, Republican candidate for Georgia's 6th congressional district greets diners during a campaign stop at Old Hickory House in Tucker, Ga., Monday, June 19, 2017. Her victory comes after Republican special congressional election wins in Montana, Kansas and SC. She becomes Georgia's first female Republican member of the U.S. House.

"It's bigger than the 6th", Holly Simmel, a volunteer for the Ossoff campaign, told WABE's Johnny Kaufman. He added later: "The fight goes on".

It's the best shot the party has of the four House special elections this spring to win a seat that now belongs to Republicans.

Winning in this once-safe GOP district would follow House special election victories this year in GOP-held districts in Kansas and Montana.

Still, it is the type of district Democrats have to do well in come 2018 to flip the 24 seats they need to win back the House.

The argument made by even Trump allies, such as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the state's former governor, over the weekend is that even if you don't like Trump, don't hold that against Handel.

More than 140,000 voters cast their ballots early - an astounding number for a special election, and one that almost matches presidential contests.

Atlanta congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis is revving up the crowd at the election night party for Democrat Jon Ossoff.

The 77-year-old congressman on Tuesday recalled a letter a young Ossoff wrote to Lewis asking for a Capitol Hill internship.

"Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race", House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement.

Handel is the latest in a line of Republicans who have represented the district since 1979, beginning with Newt Gingrich, who would become House speaker.

Lewis is praising Ossoff supporters for making "a major down payment on change not just in the 6th District our nation".

Karen earned 51.4 percent of the vote, enough to lead Democrat Jon Ossoff, who came up in second place with 48.6 percent, according to the most recent reports. Handel supported the GOP House version, the American Health Care Act, while Ossoff opposed it.

Ossoff raised more than $23 million, most from outside Georgia.

A few precincts remained open Tuesday evening after a rain-soaked day in metro Atlanta.

From day one, Ossoff had a very narrow target to hit while Handel had more room for error in this longtime GOP stronghold.

Ossoff wants an upset that would rattle Washington ahead of next year's elections.

The district has historically leaned heavily Republican.

Turnout could exceed 250,000 votes, an impressive total for a special election, and its already the most expensive House race in US history.

Georgia is not the only special election that happened Tuesday. She's rarely mentioned Trump on the trail, instead pointing to local issues.

Early voting turnout was already extremely heavy for a special election and was expected to surpass levels for the 2014 midterms.

This time, county officials are optimistic they will have more timely results.

Two voting locations in DeKalb County had the wrong equipment used to check voters in.

"I am gonna be at the frontline of fighting for women", she said.

Republican Karen Handel has beaten Democrat Jon Ossoff in the Georgia Sixth Congressional District special election, dealing a blow to Democrats, who had hoped to move the seat into their column.

Georgia 6 is a tough district to diagnose because its politics in presidential elections shifted a lot from 2012 to 2016. Ossoff lives in Atlanta, south of the suburban district. He has said the address is close to Emory University, where his fiancee attends medical school.

The matchup between Ossoff and Handel has become a proxy for the national political atmosphere and a test of GOP strength early in Trump's presidency.

Republican Karen Handel fended off a massive influx of Democratic cash from across the country on Tuesday to win the most expensive congressional race in history.

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