Runoff in Georgia House race could test Trump, opposition

Jon Ossoff

Jon Ossoff

"National Right to Life is pleased to endorse Karen Handel, whose position on life reflects the true values of Georgia's voters", said Karen Cross, National Right to Life political director.

Although Ossoff took the lead in the results, all of the Republicans in the race earned a combined 51 percent, indicating that Handel is still likely to do well in June. "I think this was a big loss for them".

Heading into Tuesday, 18 candidates were competing - 11 Republicans, five Democrats and two independents.

"NO RUN-OFF", exhorted a sign at Jon Ossoff's campaign office in Sandy Springs. Well known to voters, Handel had treated Trump gingerly in a district the president barely carried, but declared Wednesday she'd like to see him campaign for her ahead of the June 20 runoff.

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The close outcomes in conservative Kansas and Georgia underscored Democrats' potential to capitalize on surging liberal energy following Trump's election, but also pointed to the limits of how far they can go in Republican-friendly districts.

Documentary film-maker Jon Ossoff, 30, a one-time Congressional staffer who does not even hail from the area he wants to represent, finished first in a crowded field of candidates on Tuesday in a traditionally conservative district.

But on the 2018 timetable, most of those districts, like in Georgia's Sixth tonight, many of those districts that Hillary Clinton won or are even more attainable than the Georgia Sixth - those voters are already disillusioned with Trump or are already saying that they disapprove of his job performance.

She also transferred $2,000 to Ossoff from her campaign committee, and an additional $5,000 to Ossoff from her political action committee PAC to the Future.

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Obama's spokesman said the former U.S. president, who is popular in France, was not making a formal endorsement. France has been in a state of emergency since the 2015 Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead.

Imagine if a Republican won 48 percent of the vote, say, in a New York City congressional district when the Democrats spent a boatload of money and President Barack Obama weighed in.

The Democrat reportedly amassed an astounding $8.3 million from almost 200,000 donors, with over 95 percent of those contributions coming from out of state. (Bob Gray got 10.8 percent, and Bruce LeVell and Amy Kremer each got 0.2 percent).

The White House, which monitored the elections closely, pushed back against the suggestion it was a referendum on Trump. Ossoff earned $8.3 million in the first quarter of 2017, but Republicans quickly responded with several million dollars in ad buys against the Democrat.

The press secretary pointed to the fact that Ossoff was the only serious Democrat who ran while more than a dozen Republicans threw their hat in the ring. After a better-than-expected balloting in a Kansas special election last week, Democratic leaders said they'll gear up for a special congressional election in Montana.

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"We have an unbelievable chance here, an extraordinary moment for Georgia", Ossoff told campaign volunteers as they headed out for a final round of door-knocking on Monday afternoon. Werner reported from Washington.

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