Voters Head to Polls in Ga. Congressional Race
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 2:42
The race for Georgia's 6th Congressional District seat between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff has become a proxy for the national political climate and a bellwether for the 2018 midterm elections.
In another tweet, Trump praises Republican Karen Handel as a hard worker who will fight for lower taxes, great health care and strong security. Voters in the Palmetto State's 5th Congressional District are going to the polls to determine who will succeed Mick Mulvaney - now the White House budget director - in Congress. Millionaire developer Ralph Norman, the Republican, is favored over former Goldman Sachs tax adviser Archie Parnell, the Democrat.
As the race has worn on, Ossoff has presented more as a conciliator and less as an anti-Trump agitator.
Georgia voters steadily streamed into suburban Atlanta polling places Tuesday to decide the most expensive House race in USA history and put weeks of television ads, phone calls and ringing doorbells behind them.
Speaking on election morning with "Fox & Friends", Handel voiced confidence about GOP turnout putting her over the top once ballots are counted.
"I think the people in this district and Atlanta as a whole, I think they are probably exhausted of hearing about it but they need to pay attention because it matters right now", Jade Morey, a Handel supporter, told CNN outside a campaign event in the final days before Tuesday's election. That is less problematic than the big bucks coming from outside PACs, which has helped prop up his opponent Handel.
What it all means: No one is quite sure what to expect, aside from a close race.
Some observers were also eyeing the race for clues into how voters perceive the Republican health care bill now making its way through Congress.
"They're very concerned about an individual who does not even live in the district", Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. She barely mentioned him ahead of finishing second to Ossoff in an April primary. He sold himself as a moderate who would happily work across the aisle, who fretted about deficit spending and who wasn't even sure he'd vote for Nancy Pelosi for House speaker.
An influx of money from both Democrats and Republicans has focused attention on the historically conservative district, and both sides expect it to be tight.
"Everybody knows about this race", said U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Outside GOP groups have spent $12 million to support Handel. Another high-profile Republican, Newt Gingrich, also began his political career there.
Tuesday's runoff is the third chance opposition Democrats have to win a House seat since Trump took office.
Democrats have plenty of energy nationally, but it hasn't translated to the electoral scoreboard.
"Big day tomorrow in Georgia and SC". In November, Price won the seat by more than 20 points.
The shooting of Republican congressman Steve Scalise - who remains hospitalized in serious condition after being shot in the hip - last Wednesday in Washington however has cast a shadow over the Georgia race.