A Democratic candidate in a Georgia special election for the U.S. House of Representatives won about 48 percent of the vote Tuesday in a solid Republican suburb of Atlanta.
Jon Ossoff is now headed to a runoff against Republican Karen Handel who placed second in a crowded field of candidates.
Ossoff needed to pass the 50 percent threshold to win the congressional seat outright, in a race that many viewed as a referendum on President Donald Trump.
It was a significant outcome for Democrats in a district that Republicans have controlled for decades. It’s at the same time disappointing because Ossoff now faces an uphill battle.
From the Washington Post:
Ossoff could find it difficult to sustain the momentum he witnessed this past week in a traditionally Republican district that has been in GOP hands since 1979. Although Handel had earned 19.7 percent of the vote with 88 percent of precincts reporting, in a runoff she is widely expected to rally Republican voters who had divided their votes among 11 GOP candidates in Tuesday’s race.
Just before midnight, at her election night party in Roswell, Handel thanked supporters and urged Republicans to unite. “Tomorrow we start the campaign anew,” she said.
Trump, who’s trying to rebound from an embarrassing defeat on health care and dogged by questions about his campaign’s ties to Russia, was pleased with the result—even taking some of the credit in a Twitter post.
Still, many Democrats are encouraged by the result when viewed as part of an emerging trend that they hope will enable them to retake control of the House in 2018. In a close race last week, Democrat James Thompson narrowly lost a Kansas special election in a district Trump won by 27 points.
SOURCE: Washington Post