Handel makes history as Georgia's first female GOP Congresswoman-elect
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 22, 2017,
Jun 22, 2017, 0:05
Six women have served in Congress representing Georgia as Democrats since 1940, including Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who served several terms in Congress, most recently from 2005-2007, according to Rutgers University's Center for American Women and Politics.
Handel, 55, Georgia's former secretary of state, was fighting to claim a seat that's been in her party's hands since 1979.
President Trump congratulated Handel via Twitter.
It was Handel's most explicit praise of a president whose tenuous standing put this previously safe Republican district in peril in the first place. Republicans have held that seat since Newt Gingrich won it in 1978, although Mr. Trump barely won the district by 1.5 percent in 2016.
The PVI measures how strongly a district or state leans Republican or Democratic compared to the nation as a whole by comparing the district's average Republican or Democratic share of the two-party presidential vote in the preceding two presidential elections to the nation's average share of the same.
The moment was only the sharpest of many long monologues from Scarborough about how Democrats needed to recruit better candidates that reflected their districts.
Republicans also saw House special election victories earlier this year in GOP-held districts in Kansas and Montana. Voter suppression was so severe in 2016 that it arguably determined the victor in close states such as Wisconsin, where more than 200,000 voters were disenfranchised and Mr. Trump won by 22,748 votes.
"To the Jon Ossoff supporters, know that my commitments, they extend to every one of you as well", Handel said.
"My pledge is to be part of the solution, to focus on governing", she said. The Republican voters that love Trump don't necessarily love them. She barely mentioned him ahead of finishing second to Ossoff in an April primary but welcomed him for a private fundraiser later that month.
Ossoff did better than he should have, thanks to $25 million in donations (mostly from California) and support from clueless Hollywood celebrities and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who all endorsed Ossoff in a bid to flip the 6th district.
But the Democrats found out that, once again, GOP voters in the South would rather send a Republican to Washington to help even an embattled president of their party than vote for a Democrat. A super PAC backed by Ryan spent $7 million alone; the national GOP's House campaign arm added $4.5 million. Outside groups in her camp accused Ossoff's supporters of cheering when a gunman opened fire on House Republicans at a baseball practice last week.
Karen Handel, the Republican contender for the seat, won the election Tuesday night in what became the most expensive House race in history.
The special election, to fill the seat vacated by Tom Price after Trump appointed him as secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, does not change the balance of power in Washington, where Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress.
In South Carolina, Republican Ralph Norman beat Democrat Archie Parnell in a solidly conservative area. CNN projected just after 9 p.m. ET, Republican Ralph Norman will win the special election in the SC 5th Congressional District, defeating Democrat Archie Parnell in a closer than expected race to fill Mick Mulvaney's seat.
On Tuesday, Republican Karen Handel defeated Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, in the race for Georgia's 6th Congressional District seat.