Republican Karen Handel wins congressional race in the US state of Georgia

June 21, 2017 6:38 pm

Republican speaks following a congressional race in Georgia, on June 20, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Republican Karen Handel has won a hotly contested congressional race in the state of Georgia, fending off a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff in the heavily Republican House district.
With almost all votes counted on Tuesday night, Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, had 53% of the vote with Ossoff wining 47%.
Ossoff, a political newcomer, sought to gain control of a suburban Atlanta district that has elected Republicans to Congress since the 1970s.

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff delivers a concession speech in Georgia on June 20, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Tuesday’s contest, which drew national interest, was the most expensive House race ever costing both sides more than $50 million, nearly twice the previous record.
The race was good for Donald Trump because Democrats had prompted it as a referendum on the Republican president, who had earlier congratulated Handel in a tweet.
“Congratulations to Karen Handel on her big win in Georgia 6th. Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!” tweeted Trump.
However, the election will not significantly change the balance of power in Washington, it could give GOP lawmakers a boost of confidence as they struggle to move forward with health and tax legislation.
The measures have been blocked by political infighting and an investigation into alleged Trump’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
In her victory speech, Handel offered “a special thanks to the President of of America.”
“We need to finish the drill on health care,” she said, drawing cheers from the crowd who began chanting Trump’s name.

Andrew Goren (C) reacts as vote results show Ossoff losing during his election night party being held at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North Hotel on June 20, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by AFP)

Once the outcome became clear, Ossoff told the crowds, “As darkness has crept across this planet, (you) have provided a beacon of hope for people here in Georgia and people around the world.”
“We showed the world that in places where no one thought it was even possible to fight, we could fight,” he added.
Also in South Carolina, Democrat Archie Parnell lost to Republican Ralph Norman on Tuesday and could not win the seat that became open when Representative Mick Mulvaney was tapped by Trump to head the Office of Management and Budget.
Democrats, who steadily lost seats in Congress and at the state level in recent years, also fell short in other congressional elections earlier this year in Kansas and Montana.
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