News (USA)

Karen Handel wins Georgia special election handing Democrats an upsetting loss

Karen Handel
Karen Handel wins in Georgia's 6th District.Photo: Associated Press/David Goldman

Republican Karen Handel has won Georgia’s Congressional 6th District in a closely watched raced that saw millions pouring in from out of state.

Handel hit Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff on the issue of the outside money, support from celebrities like Samuel L. Jackson, and the fact that he doesn’t live in the 6th District in order to paint him as an outsider.

Democrats hoped Ossoff could pull off an upset after falling just short of the 50 percent needed in April to avoid today’s runoff election.

The Republicans held the seat for nearly 40 years, and it was left vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Polls showed the race tightening, and Democrats wanted to parlay this win into momentum going into the midterm elections.

Ossoff campaigned as an ally to the LGBTQ community, whereas Handel, the former Georgia secretary of state, told the mother of an LGBTQ child that she was against her daughter’s right to adopt and have a family, due to her faith.

While Democrats can talk up the close nature of this race, as well as the one that preceded it in Montana, that message doesn’t inspire like a win does, and Republicans are celebrating tonight.

That includes President Donald Trump, who expressed his joy at Handel winning with a tweet that thanked Fox News.

That was followed by another tweet congratulating Handel.

Still, perspective is helpful. The fact remains that even with as much anti-Trump sentiment as there is in the country at the moment, and with all of the money pouring into Ossoff’s campaign, it was always an uphill battle.

Yet another loss makes for disheartening headlines, and brings questions of the Democrat’s ability to inspire new candidates to enter difficult races, but it doesn’t put taking the House back out of reach.

We have only just begun with the investigations into possible ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign, as well as Trump himself depending on who you listen to, the president or his lawyer.

Ossoff has conceded, speaking with a resigned but hopeful and appreciative message to supporters.

Handel thanked Trump for his support.

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