Saturday, 24 June, 2017

Novice Democrat tops Georgia race, but faces runoff

Jon Ossoff is running in a special election in the suburbs of Atlanta to replace congressman Tom Price who was named as Trump's health secretary Jon Ossoff is running in a special election in the suburbs of Atlanta to replace congressman Tom Price who was named as Trump's health secretary
Edmund Wade | 21 April, 2017, 00:29

Republicans barely avoided an embarrassing setback by forcing a runoff election for a historically Republican open House seat Tuesday night - and that's cause for celebration in the eyes of President Trump.

Handel, who said Trump called to congratulate her on Wednesday morning, dismissed Ossoff as a well-funded novice who would flounder as Republicans consolidated support behind a single candidate.

A voter leaves a polling site after casting a ballot in a special election in Marietta, Ga., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. But he fell short of the majority needed to win outright. So add the Georgia 6 Round 1 results to our ever-growing pile of reasons to take early vote results with a salt mine's worth of salt. He congratulated Handel, and described her coming one-on-one race with Ossoff as "Hollywood vs. Georgia on June 20th".

"[She used] our tax dollars to pay for her luxury SUV then jetted around on our dime", the ad says of Handel's tenure as Georgia's secretary of state".

The Kansas and Georgia races also serve notice that GOP candidates may struggle to handle Trump, who alienates many independents and even some Republicans.

The most interesting battleground in the runoff could be in East Cobb, a reliable Republican enclave that had a 47 percent turnout and where Ossoff won with 41 percent of the vote, to just 18 percent for Handel.

I think that's a flawed argument.

"We have an unbelievable 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. But there were numerous Republicans in the race, and in aggregate they secured 51 percent, compared to 49 percent for Democrats, a sign Ossoff has a challenge before him to flip the district.

Democrats, searching for answers at a time when they are shut out of power in Washington, found a unifying figure in Mr Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary film-maker who campaigned on a promise to "Make Trump Furious". And Trump let the world know he played a role - via a robocall and tweets - writing this: "Glad to be of help!"

"We're the underdog in this", said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said on MSNBC on Monday. "We have shattered expectations".

The 11 Republicans altogether received 4,026 more votes than the five Democrats running for the seat. 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. Georgia voters want a bold vision of inclusion and economic opportunity for every Georgia family, so Jon Ossoff is in a strong position to become the first Democrat to represent the Georgia 6thin almost 40 years.

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