Ahead of crucial midterm elections next year, a Georgia congressional election is headed to a high-stakes runoff. The race is shaping up as a referendum on President Donald Trump.
Democrat Jon Ossoff is a little-known 30-year-old former congressional staffer. He fell just a few percentage points shy of an outright victory Tuesday amid an 18-candidate scramble in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Driven by eye-popping fundraising numbers from out-of-state donors, his strong showing in the conservative district underscored Democrats’ eagerness to get a win against Trump as they strive to take back House control in 2018.
Republican Karen Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state. She finished a distant second in the crowded field, qualifying for the June 20 runoff.
Handel treated Trump gingerly throughout the campaign. But the president called to congratulate her Wednesday morning. Handel said she hoped he would come to campaign for her.
“I would hope so,” Handel said on CNN. “I mean look, all Republicans, it’s all hands on deck for us.”
Trump had attacked Ossoff in recent days and took to Twitter again Wednesday morning to crow about the outcome in Georgia following Democrats’ failure to win a different special election in Kansas last week.
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