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WH: Georgia's Special Election 'A Big Loss' for Democrats
20 April 2017, 06:52 | Laverne Osborne
Joe Raedle Getty Images Jon Ossoff
In what many observers viewed as a major blow to Donald Trump and the Republicans, Democrat Jon Ossoff secured 48 per cent in an election for Georgia's sixth congressional district, a seat that had previously been occupied by Tom Price, now the president's health secretary.
He now faces Republican candidate Karen Handel, who finished second Tuesday, in a June run-off in the suburban Atlanta 6th Congressional District, in what will be a closely watched second phase of a contest already receiving near-obsessive national attention.
"I called the Cobb County Republican Party (headquarters) and asked if they had any signs that just said, 'Vote Republican.' It didn't really matter who".
DUNWOODY, Ga. (AP) - In a story April 19 about a runoff election in Georgia's 6th Correctional District, The Associated Press misspelled the name of a voter.
On ABC World News Tonight, Anchor David Muir was still enamored with Ossoff's performance in the race.
Republican challenger Karen Handel is expected to have an advantage in the runoff election scheduled for June 20 due to the fact that more voters supported Republicans than Ossoff at the polls Tuesday.
Sprigle's take Wednesday was simple: "Let's get to work".
"The Democrats are looking for a win, and the amount of money he [Ossoff] raised is unprecedented in a congressional race", said McDaniel.
Ossoff netted 48.1 percent of the vote but did not become the clear victor of the race to fill the 6th Congressional District's House seat vacated by now-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. By contrast, the Republican Party mobilised about US$2 million in counter-advertising, portraying the Democrat as an outsider who is "too liberal".
At the White House, spokesman Sean Spicer tried to do exactly that. "The reaction has somewhat been, you know, that they nearly won. No, they lost!" Spicer said. "They spent $8.3 million dollars and threw everything including the kitchen sink at it, and lost".
An Ossoff win would not tip the balance of power in Washington, where Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress.
As for whether Trump will campaign with Handel, Spicer said: "We'll see if we're needed".
"I think you know that, based on my former position, we talked about changing demographics throughout the country and made significant headway in doing that".
The close outcomes in conservative Kansas and Georgia underscored Democrats' potential to capitalize on surging liberal energy following Trump's election, but also pointed to the limits of how far they can go in Republican-friendly districts.
For his part, Ossoff said for weeks his goal was to win outright, but he rejected any notion that he lost.
The victor in Georgia will succeed Republican Tom Price, who resigned the seat to join Trump's administration as health secretary. Price won 62 percent of the vote in November, about 14 percentage points ahead of Trump's total. Another special election is coming up in Montana next month. Werner reported from Washington.
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