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Republican Handel wins Georgia House election

21 June 2017

With 207 percent of the 208 precincts counted, Mrs. Handel defeated Mr. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and documentary filmmaker, by a 52.6 percent to 47.4 percent margin.

Trump could care less who wins the Georgia special election, but this president is obsessed with getting a big political "win" under his belt.

The Republicans have so far staved off defeats by the Democrats this year.

Jon Ossoff, candidate for Congress in Georgia's 6th District, visits supporters and volunteers at the Sandy Springs Canvass Launch for Ossoff's final day on the campaign trail Tuesday.

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

The zeal among some Democrats, liberals, and progressives for the Georgia House special election were always emotional.

The most expensive congressional race in USA history was won by the Republican contestant, Karen Handel, as voters in suburban Atlanta cast ballots in an election that was seen by many as a referendum on President Donald Trump.

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Handel, who suggested in the first televised debate of the campaign that Trump should use Twitter less often, told the Guardian in an interview on Monday that she didn't pay attention to the president's use of social media.

Mr Ossoff lives in Atlanta, south of the suburban district.

Yet the result in a historically conservative district still offers Republicans a warning that Trump, for better or worse, will dominate the looming campaign cycle. They fell short in other special congressional elections earlier this year in Kansas and Montana, and are expected to lose another race on Tuesday in SC.

Republicans immediately crowed over winning a seat that Democrats spent $30 million trying to flip.

Opinion polls showed a narrow lead for Democrat Jon Ossoff, a political newcomer who is hoping to win a district that has been held by Republicans since the 1970s.

Handel's victory preserves for the GOP a seat the party has controlled for almost 40 years and that once was held by former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

"It's that fighting spirit, that perseverance and tenacity that I will take to Washington", she said Tuesday night.

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Even Tom Price, who represented the district until Trump tapped him to head the Department of Health and Human Services, said he was shocked by the amount of outside influence involved in the race. Trump barely won this well-educated, affluent district in November, despite previous Republican nominees here eclipsing 60 percent. "The enthusiasm on the ground has been unbelievable", she said.

"My pledge is to be part of the solution, to focus on governing", she said.

He later issued a comment on the overall result in both races that lauded a 5 -0 record in congressional races since his election.

Handel insisted for months that voters' choice had little to do with Trump.

The race between Ossoff and Handel was considered the most expensive House race in history, with an estimated $50 spent between the two candidates. The Republican campaign establishment, however, helped make up the difference.

Ossoff stood out in the rain with a group of supporters at an intersection, waving at cars and holding up signs.

On policy, she mostly echoes party leaders.

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Republican Handel wins Georgia House election