Sabato, 25 Mag, 2019

Republican wins costly congressional race in Georgia

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Acilia Dean | 21 Giugno, 2017, 13:48

Republican Karen Handel won a high-stakes, closely-watched special congressional election Tuesday, salvaging a seat in traditional conservative Georgia where Democrats had hoped to strike a blow against Donald Trump's presidency.

Here is why it's a bad talking point: Last year, Tom Price, who vacated the congressional seat to become the secretary of health and human services, was a six-term Republican incumbent who raised more than $2 million. Estimates say over $50 million will have been spent in the district of about 700,000 people, north of Atlanta. Polls closed at 7 p.m.

Trump kicked off Tuesday tweeting his support for Handel - whom he described as a "hard worker" - while slamming Ossoff as a candidate who would raise taxes and be weak on crime.

"Still, for Handel's campaign, this could be a problem".

The runoff came after a first round of voting in April where Ossoff won just over 48% of the vote and Handel finished second in a splintered Republican field with just under 20% of the vote. "But the downpours could dampen voter participation in GOP bastions as well". Trump barely won the affluent, well-educated district in November, trailing the usual GOP benchmark here by double-digits.

"I really am honored to stand before you and so extraordinarily humbled, but as everyone knows, most big things are not accomplished by one person alone, and I had a tremendous amount of support in this campaign", Handel said. "They need to get used to the idea of no safe seats, because people are fed up".

Republican Karen Handel, the former secretary of state of Georgia, bested opponent Jon Ossoff, according to an Associated Press analysis of returns.


Protestations aside, Handel often embraced the national tenor of the race, joining a GOP chorus that lambasted Ossoff as a "dangerous liberal" who was "hand-picked" by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California. He has said the address is close to Emory University, where his fiancee attends medical school.

In addition to that, Ossoff did not live in the district and received 95% of his campaign money from outside the district. He led in most polls since May and appeared to have the most enthusiasm on his side.

Handel herself claimed victory around 10:40 pm. She avoided talk of Trump, instead focusing on her track record. However, polling shows his approval rating is underwater in the district, as is the GOP's health care plan, the American Health Care Act.

"Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!" he posted Tuesday night. Perdue defended Trump as "a true populist", but acknowledged that even "some Republicans" are "turned off" by the president.

"They have tried to make this a national election, but is a local election", said Republican Jere Wood, the seersucker and bow tie clad mayor of Roswell, Handel's home town. "And the world is looking; the nation is looking".

Democrats have lost every special Congressional election since President Donald Trump took office.

Democrats may also be regretting that they invested so heavily in the Georgia district, but paid little attention to the other congressional special election that took place Tuesday, in the SC district vacated by White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

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