Trump credits himself for Georgia runoff | Cap on charitable tax deductions eyed
Democrat Jon Ossoff came within a hair's breadth of dealing a major blow to President Trump Tuesday night, leading a crowded field of nearly a dozen Republicans but falling just short of winning a Georgia Congressional seat outight.
Jon Ossoff, a Jewish Democrat, led by a wide margin among 18 candidates in a special election in Atlanta's suburbs seen as a referendum on Donald Trump's young presidency, but failed to win it outright. He will now face a run-off on June 20, with the top Republican, perennial candidate Karen Handel.
The most interesting battleground in the runoff could be in East Cobb, a reliable Republican enclave that had a 47 percent turnout and where Ossoff won with 41 percent of the vote, to just 18 percent for Handel.
The special election - sort of a bye-election - was held to replace the congressional district's last incumbent Tom Price who vacated the seat when he joined Trump's team as his secretary for health and human services.
Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton past year, and Republicans have controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress since January. Ms Handel did not mention Mr Trump during a 10-minute speech on Tuesday night, according to local media. Crediting himself, Trump added, "Glad to be of help!" "They said that their goal was to get over 50 percent".
It is not known why, but Trump took to Twitter, of course, to say his political party had won hours before the race was called.
At 30-years-old, Ossoff rose from near-obscurity to a favored position Tuesday on the back of strong fundraising and endorsements from celebrities and prominent Democrats, including his former boss, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga. and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. who represents the state's fifth district, just to the south of the sixth.
Ossoff was one of three Jews - another Democrat and a Republican - running Tuesday.
"We have defied the odds. shattered expectations", Ossoff said, and he urged his supporters to embrace the prospects of a runoff, telling them they would "carry us to victory".
Democrats are calling this a HUUGE win in the heavily GOP dominated district. Republicans hold a 237-193 majority in the House so Democrats would need to pick up more than 20 seats to retake control in the 2018 midterm, an uphill climb.
Spicer did not mention that outside Republican groups also plowed millions into attacking Ossoff and encouraging GOP turnout; a political action committee backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and other House GOP leaders accounted for at least $2.2 million.
Democrats invested over $8.3 million in the race and thousands of volunteer hours but only received a 1.3 percent gain in the district from Clinton's 46.8 percent in November of 2016.