Ossoff, Handel almost deadlocked in Georgia race

Henrietta Strickland
June 19, 2017

The runoff election for the Georgia 6th congressional district will be held Tuesday.

The poll comes just days before the special election to fill Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, which is seen largely seen as a referendum on President Trump's presidency. Ultimately, more than 192,000 people voted in the primary - close to the 210,000 who participated in the 2014 midterm election in the district.

Ossoff and Handel insist their matchup - recognized as the most expensive House race in US history because of money from outside the district - is not about or the dynamics on Capitol Hill.

The most expensive congressional election in USA history is hurtling towards a knife-edge finish as Democrats bet that an anti-Trump backlash can redraw the political map.

Ossoff may have raised more money than Handel, but she has the support of President Trump, as well as Price and Agriculture Secretary and former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.

Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary-film producer and former congressional aide, is up against 55-year-old Republican Karen Handel, Georgia's former secretary of state.

That reality, though, is no surprise in the district, which encompasses much of Atlanta's northern suburbs.

Democrats need to flip 24 GOP-held seats to regain a House majority.

"This is a race for the heart and soul of America", Perdue told Handel supporters, casting Ossoff as a puppet of national Democrats and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

Ossoff also has sought to make health care a defining issue, even before Price's return to the district.

With early voting completed, poll workers across District 6 can take a break from welcoming voters to polling locations and processing ballots today - and Lord knows they've been working hard.

In analyzing that group, Tom Bonier, the CEO of the Democratic voter targeting firm TargetSmart, pointed out that they are less likely to be white than all other segments of voters - and 25% of them are under the age of 35.

Because of the district's status as suburban, educated and diverse, the Georgia race could be a harbinger of Democrats' ability to compete for similar Republican-held seats in places like Orange County, California, the Philadelphia suburbs and NY state in 2018.

Handel made a similar appeal to honor the district's "legacy".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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