On a rainy election night that never got quite as close as many anticipated, Republican Karen Handel defeated Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff 53% to 47% to win Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
Handel rode a strong performance in traditionally-blue DeKalb County to victory, pairing those results with strong finishes in GOP strongholds East Cobb and North Fulton. Ossoff, a 30 year old documentary-maker who emerged as a Democratic darling after nearly winning the 18 person primary in April, was unable to overcome the attacks on his lack of experience and the fact that he lived outside the district. Expect to see a lot more of the impressive ex-Congressional aide moving forward though – InsiderAdvantage Chair Matt Towery even tossed his name into the mix for the 2018 Governor’s race during his election-night breakdown on Fox 5.
It was a big night nationwide for Republicans, who also scored a narrow victory in South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District, where former state Rep. Ralph Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell by three points. While that race, like the one in Georgia, was a little close for comfort for Republicans in a heavily red district, a win is a win and the GOP notches two big victories in races that were seen as a barometer for the 2018 midterms in the face of a so-far uneven Donald Trump presidency.
Aided by appearances from top Republican leaders including Speaker Paul Ryan, Vice President Mike Pence, and even President Donald Trump himself, Handel managed to drive out her base to combat the millions of dollars poured into the race by Ossoff and his Democratic allies.
Congratulations to Karen Handel on her big win in Georgia 6th. Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2017
Handel made history on the night, first by becoming Georgia’s first female Republican representative in Washington D.C. and second by prevailing in the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history. Flooded with money from Washington and elsewhere, both campaigns relied on support from their national parties as they battled to the finish line.
One of those groups was the right leaning Faith and Freedom Coalition, known for being a staunch supporter of Republican candidates. Faith and Freedom founder Ralph Reed said that his organization identified through its data mining operation “107,000 solid faith-based, socially conservative Republican voters in Georgia’s 6th District.” They were all targeted with two robocalls and two mailers, he said, “and as of close of business on Friday we identified that 53 percent of that total had already early voted. If the rest of that 107,000 vote today, it’s game over favoring Handel.”
As it turned out those efforts paid big dividends as Republican voters streamed to the polls Tuesday even as metro-Atlanta’s roads resembled streams themselves on a very wet and rainy election day.
Look for more breakdown of this high profile race in coming days on InsiderAdvantage.com.