A political newcomer who thrilled Democrats with a strong finish in a Georgia congressional race—despite attacks by President Donald Trump—will face an experienced Republican candidate in a June runoff election for a district long dominated by the party (RELATED: Trump Makes Special Endorsement, Slams Pelosi).
Democrat Jon Ossoff drew 48.1% of the vote in Tuesday’s special election, just shy of the 50% needed to win the most closely watched U.S. congressional race since Trump took office in January. Some saw the election, held to replace new Health Secretary Tom Price, as a test of the Republican president’s political strength.
Ossoff, 30, was the top vote getter in a field of 18 candidates, 11 of them Republicans, in a suburban Atlanta district that has sent Republicans to Congress since the 1970s. Republican Karen Handel, 55, a former Georgia secretary of state, won 19.8%, and will face Ossoff in the June 20 runoff.
“We know that this is an important race, and it’s going to stay in the hands of a Republican,” Handel told CNN. “It is all Republicans, all hands on deck.”