(Brendan Clarey, Liberty Headlines) Republican Karen Handel narrowly defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff on Tuesday in Gerogia’s 6th District Special election.
Handel’s victory is important to the GOP because it shows that discontent for President Donald Trump is not widespread enough to keep people from away from voting Republican, according to the Washington Post and other news outlets.
“On April 18 I said this was going to be a very, very tight race, it was going to be contentious, it was going to require all hands on deck, and that’s exactly what we had,” Handel told supporters after her win.
Ossoff emphasized the long-range battle, rather than his loss, to disappointed supporters Tuesday night.
“We showed the world that in places where no one thought it was possible you could fight, we could fight,” Ossoff said. “This is not the outcome any of us were hoping for. But this is the beginning of something much bigger than us.”
The race was the most expensive in House history, with Democrats nationally pouring more than $23 million into Ossoff’s campaign in an effort to diminish the power of Trump. Stakes were also high because Republicans and Democrats viewed this as an indicator for next year’s House elections, and polls indicated that Ossoff had a shot at taking the seat controlled by Republicans since Newt Gingrich won it in 1979.
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, spelled out the importance of the election in an article from The Hill.
“Democrats know that if they don’t win this race, they really have no shot of taking over the House next year. They need to win this; It’s a must-win seat for them,” Stivers told Fox News in an interview on Tuesday, before the results came in.
“We want to win, we prefer to win, I think we are gonna win. But if we lose this, we are 3-1, if they lose this, they are 0-4,” Stivers said. “So, they need to win this much more than we need to win it.”
While voting Tuesday afternoon, Handel attacked Ossoff for not living in the district, part of her campaign’s ongoing strategy, the Hill reported. Ossoff resides outside of the district by “a few miles.”
“He wishes he could vote like me, because he doesn’t live in the district,” she said in the polling place. “I’ve lived here for nearly 25 years and I think that’s going to make a big difference to the voters in this district.”
President Donald Trump also weighed in against Ossoff via Twitter: “Karen Handel’s opponent in #GA06 can’t even vote in the district he wants to represent….”
Many supporters of Ossoff used the phrase “Flip the 6th” because the district has historically voted Republican.
Two of the voting locations experienced problems and stayed open longer, until 7:30 p.m., when it was discovered that officials “had accidentally switched electronic poll books,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday afternoon.
The polling locations were in prominently Democrat-held regions. The Hill reported that, if at all, the error could have aided Ossoff, but not enough to provide the extra votes necessary to win.
The special election came as a result of the 6th District’s Rep. Tom Price quitting to serve in the Trump administration as Secretary of Health and Human Services.