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US Republican vows 'all hands on deck' in Georgia congressional runoff

21 April 2017

In what was touted by the media as a possible rebuke to the Trump presidency and a foreshadowing of a tough midterm election, the Georgia sixth congressional district election instead disappointed Democrats and allowed President Trump to declare victory Tuesday.

Republican Karen Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state who has allied herself with President Trump and is viewed as an establishment-friendly Republican.

Late Tuesday night, President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to Georgia Republicans and celebrated a victory.

Democratic leadership invested millions into the race, and several big Hollywood names campaigned on behalf of Ossoff Saturday.

Democrats on Thursday launched a wave of attack ads against Jon Ossoff's GOP opponent in the special election for a Georgia House seat, according to a new report.

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Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, with his girlfriend Alisha Kramer, after speaking to supporters in Atlanta as votes were being counted in a key Georgia congressional race, April 18, 2017.

In the 2016 Presidential Election, Trump only won the "red" 6th District over Democrat Challenger Hillary Clinton, by just 1 percentage point, giving Democrats hope they can "Flip the 6th". "They came up short".

"I am truly humbled by the faith and trust the people of Georgia's 6th District have placed in me".

The special election - sort of a bye-election - was held to replace the congressional district's last incumbent Tom Price who vacated the seat when he joined Trump's team as his secretary for health and human services. If Ossoff had won at least 50%, he would have secured the seat outright.

Handel finished second as the top Republican candidate.

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The election has been closely watched throughout the country and is widely considered to be an early popularity test for President Donald Trump . At an Atlanta rally Tuesday night, he said, "We will be ready to fight on and win in June if necessary".

But Trump's sharp-elbowed cultural worldview and provocative rhetoric helped Hillary Clinton make serious inroads in a place populated by wealthy, well-educated white voters, many of whom defected en masse from the GOP leader's ticket a year ago.

A total of 97,937 votes were cast for the 11 Republicans in the race, compared with 93,911 for the five Democrat candidates (and a mere 176 votes for the two independent candidates).

Still, the close outcomes in Georgia as well as conservative Kansas underscored Democrats' potential to capitalize on surging liberal energy following Trump's election, even as they pointed to the limits of how far Democrats can go in Republican-friendly districts.

"We're the underdog in this", said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said on MSNBC on Monday.

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Democrats rejoiced at Ossoff's showing.