Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Georgia election: Trump faces knife-edge congressional vote

Trump barely won the district in November, giving Democrats an opening once Republican Tom Price resigned the seat to join the president's Cabinet as health secretary.

The Georgia 6th is an affluent and well-educated district that has elected Newt Gingrich, the former speaker; Johnny Isakson, now Georgia's senior US senator; and most recently Tom Price, who resigned in February to join the administration. More so, a Handel win, would yield this dream come true for free-marketeers: Democrats will have racked up a flawless record of special-election losses in the House since President Trump's election.

Georgia's 6th district encompasses much of suburban Atlanta and until recently was considered a shoe-in for Republicans. Whether or not Ossoff, a 30-year-old moderate whose bravest moment probably came on the day he announced his bid, has the directions home is unlikely to be resolved any time soon.

For Roberts, Handel's agenda is tied too closely with Trump's.

Ms Handel came a distant second to Mr Ossoff in the April election, but the Republican vote had been split among 11 candidates.

The president has tweeted before that Ossoff is a "super Liberal Democrat" that "wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!" Scalise was shot by a man who identified on social media as a liberal, and he offered angry critiques of Republicans and President Donald Trump. But she split the vote there in April with two other GOP candidates from the area.

Deal is praising Handel at an election-eve campaign rally, saying the former Georgia secretary of state's experience should be the difference in the race.

While there is a national sentiment of increased Democrat activity, it doesn't always translate in traditionally red districts.

Ossoff and his Republican rival, the former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel, spent the weekend and Monday crisscrossing the southern state's sixth congressional district as the race went down to the wire.

Defeat in a district they've owned for a generation will put fear into Republicans who even a few months ago considered their seats safe from any meaningful challenge.

In another sign of the race's importance, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is out campaigning with Handel Monday before Tuesday's election. Republicans say that even if Ossoff wins, it would be hard to replicate the massive amount of money and outside focus for races during a normal cycle. "VOTE TODAY", Trump then tweeted.

The ad, funded by a little-known group called the Principled PAC, opens with sounds of gunshots and footage of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise being wheeled away on a stretcher after he and other members of the Republican congressional baseball team were ambushed by a lone gunman while practicing in a Washington suburb.

Handel disavowed the ad, which blames the "violent left" for the shooting and suggests such acts would continue if Ossoff wins. Ossoff calls the shooting a "national tragedy" that should not be politicized.

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