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Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Georgia election heads for runoff as Dem falls just short of majority

Georgia election heads for runoff as Dem falls just short of majority

Price won the district in November with over 60 percent of the vote, but Trump beat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, by barely a percentage point in the district.

"We know that this is an important race, and it's going to stay in the hands of a Republican", Handel told CNN. But the hard work isn't over yet.

Ossoff benefited from a fractured Republican field of 11 candidates, some of whom emphasized their loyalty to Trump while others kept their distance.

Ossoff won 48.1 percent of the vote Tuesday and now faces a June 20 runoff against his nearest rival, Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state who had 19.8 percent of the vote.

But she'll run up against Handel backers like 82-year-old Bev Wingate.

"This race is absolutely and entirely a referendum on President Trump", said one Republican consultant granted anonymity to speak candidly about the contest.

"We have an awesome chance here, an extraordinary moment for Georgia", Ossoff told campaign volunteers as they headed out for a final round of door-knocking on Monday afternoon.

"We defied the odds and shattered expectations - and we are ready to fight on and win in June". "They spent $8.3 million dollars and threw everything including the kitchen sink at it, and lost".

In a message on his Twitter account Wednesday, the president said the June runoff election triggered by Tuesday's vote represented a battle between Ossoff and his celebrity backers, and Republican Karen Handel's local support. "Glad to be of help!" he tweeted.

Reporters asked Handel about the impact of President Trump's involvement.

"This district has a long legacy of Republican leadership", she said. "So of course he has a vested interest in making sure that a Republican holds the seat". His strong showing in the conservative district, driven by eye-popping fundraising numbers from out-of-state donors, underscored Democrats' eagerness to get a win against Trump as they strive to take back House control in 2018.

In Ossoff's stronghold of DeKalb, where he got almost 59 percent of the vote, the turnout was 45 percent.

"Obviously, we're very excited, and what happened last night is very encouraging", said Handel.

"We're the underdog in this", said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said on MSNBC on Monday. The young Democrat named his first official fundraiser "make Trump furious".

Having Trump in the race would likely be welcomed by Democrats, who have energized volunteers on behalf of Ossoff due to their disdain for the president. "That is Jon Ossoff".

Perez is headed to Georgia on Thursday to raise money for the race, according to statement from the DNC. He also dismissed Republican claims that he did not live in the district, pointing out that he grew up there and was now living with his girlfriend one mile outside the boundary.

Demographic changes have made Georgia's affluent 6th Congressional District more competitive for Democrats.

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