SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (Reuters) – Republican Karen Handel won a hotly contested Georgia congressional race on Tuesday, CNN reported, fending off a Democratic challenge in a race that was widely seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump. With more than 65 percent of the votes counted, CNN predicted that Handel, a former Georgia secretary […]
Democrat Jon Ossoff ended up as the top vote getter in a crowded field of 18 candidates vying to fill a vacant seat in the House of Representatives. With 185 of 210 precincts reporting, he held 48.3 percent of the vote – just shy of the 50 percent he needed to become the first Democrat to represent Atlanta’s affluent northern suburbs since the 1970s.
That would tee up a June 20 runoff with Republican Karen Handel, who was headed to a second-place finish with 19.5 percent of the vote.
With Democrats desperate for signs of hope after Hillary Clinton’s loss, Jon Ossoff’s underdog “Make Trump Furious” campaign has endeared him to national anti-Trump activists and pushed him well ahead of 17 rivals in polls.
Like the Tea Party right, liberals are flocking to their own media campfires for warmth, talking points, and calls to action. The Tea Party’s membership was never huge in numbers, but the movement knew how to turn communal passions into political clout. Members jeered politicians and joined enthusiastic protests. But their real power came from marching as a group to party primaries and other elections that less engaged voters ignored.
To many Democrats, Job Ossoff’s candidacy — which has attracted the attention of liberal activists nationwide — is the first chance to show that Republicans are paying a price for Donald Trump’s presidency. The 30-year-old is the most prominent Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which this spring will have a special election to replace former Rep. Tom Price.