Last remaining seats to the Jpost 2017 Annual Conference! Get your special offer now

Democrat leads in race for Georgia US House seat long held by Republicans

ByREUTERS
April 19, 2017 08:17

Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit:JPOST STAFF)

DUNWOODY, Ga. - A novice Democratic candidate weathered attacks from President Donald Trump and finished well ahead of his Republican rivals in a much-watched Georgia congressional race on Tuesday, but appeared to fall short of the majority he needed to win outright.

Democrat Jon Ossoff ended up as the top vote getter in a crowded field of 18 candidates vying to fill a vacant seat in the House of Representatives. But with 185 of 210 precincts reporting, he held 48.3 percent of the vote - just shy of the 50 percent he needed to become the first Democrat to represent Atlanta's affluent northern suburbs since the 1970s.



That would tee up a June 20 runoff with Republican Karen Handel, who was headed to a second-place finish with 19.5 percent of the vote.

With few other events on the political calendar, the race was seen as a bellwether of the national mood during Trump's turbulent first few months in office. Republicans have controlled the seat for decades, but Trump only won it by 1 percentage point in last November's presidential election.

"This is already a victory for the ages. We have defied the odds, we have shattered expectations," Ossoff told a cheering crowd of supporters.

The winner replaces Republican Tom Price, who stepped down to serve as Trump's Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Democrats, searching for answers at a time when they are shut out of power in Washington, found a unifying figure in Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker who campaigned on a promise to "Make Trump Furious." He raised more than $8 million in the first three months of the year, much of it from out of state, and drew volunteers from across the country.

Ossoff benefited from a fractured Republican field of 11 candidates, some of whom emphasized their loyalty to Trump while others kept their distance. Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, did not mention Trump during a 10-minute speech on Tuesday night, according to local media.

National Republican groups spent millions of dollars painting Ossoff as a neophyte who does not live in the area he aims to represent. Trump himself targeted Ossoff with robocalls and a barrage of Twitter messages.

Share this article via
from around the web
Related Content
Breaking news
April 30, 2017
Mali extends state of emergency in bid to quell Islamist attacks

By REUTERS

Top Stories
Israel Weather
  • 12 - 30
    Beer Sheva
    14 - 24
    Tel Aviv - Yafo
  • 17 - 29
    Jerusalem
    15 - 25
    Haifa
  • 23 - 34
    Elat
    17 - 33
    Tiberias