Yesterday, Democrat Jon Ossoff won 48.1 percent of the vote in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, falling just short of the 50 percent threshold required to avoid a June runoff against Karen Handel, the top Republican vote-getter. The Sixth District was previously represented by Tom Price, whom President Trump recently tapped to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
Ossoff, a thirty year-old documentary filmmaker and former national security staffer to Georgia congressman Hank Johnson, faced off against seventeen other candidates on Tuesday night. Ossoff significantly out-fundraised his competitors, raising more than $8.3 million through the end of March, with 95 percent coming from out-of-state donors. The House Democratic campaign arm also poured money and staff into the race. Ossoff urged donors to “Make Trump Furious,” while simultaneously casting himself as a consensus-oriented moderate.
Georgia’s Sixth District, which has produced the likes of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and senior Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, is the moist highly educated Republican-controlled district in the country. Although the District’s congressional seat has not been held by a Democrat since the 1970s, Trump won the district by only a single percentage point. This morning, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham opined that last night’s election should be a “wake-up call” to southern Republicans operating in increasingly moderate districts.
On the eve of the election, President Trump lent his support to Ossoff’s Republican opponents, recording a robocall in which he implored voters to reject a “super Liberal Democrat” who would “raise your taxes, destroy your health care and flood our country with illegal immigrants.” Trump has since characterized June’s runoff as “Hollywood v. Georgia.”
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