Georgia's special election between Ossoff and Handel: What you need to know

Georgia's special election between Ossoff and Handel: What you need to know

Kerry Wise
June 21, 2017

Ossoff and Handel are deadlocked in a race for the seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

President Trump weighed in on the election early on Tuesday morning. Voters in the Palmetto State's 5th Congressional District are going to the polls to determine who will succeed Mick Mulvaney - now the White House budget director - in Congress. Millionaire developer Ralph Norman, the Republican, is favored over former Goldman Sachs tax adviser Archie Parnell, the Democrat. Concluding his message, the president wrote of Handel, "She will fight for lower taxes, great healthcare strong security-a hard worker who will never give up! VOTE TODAY", Trump tweeted on Tuesday, urging Republicans to vote.

A June 18 poll showed Ossoff just ahead of Handel, with 49.0 percent versus 48.9 percent.

Norman is running in a closer-than-expected special election race against Democrat Archie Parnell, who has narrowed Norman's double-digit lead to within the margin of error of most polls.

Though the district has not had a Democratic representative since 1979, supporters of Ossoff are hoping the 30-year-old first-time candidate can build on the momentum of Hillary Clinton's near miss in the district in November.

Handel briefly chatted with reporters after and as she spoke, Ossoff supporters continued cheering in the background.

Both candidates have called for more civility after the ballfield shootings in the race to represent Georgia's 6th District, a suburban stretch of north Atlanta that both parties consider crucial to win.

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Ossoff, a former documentary filmmaker and congressional aide, has become a symbol of the anti-Trump movement.

The matchup between Handel and Ossoff in Georgia's 6th Congressional District has become a proxy for the national political atmosphere and a test of GOP strength early in Donald Trump's presidency, prompting record-breaking spending.

Handel maintained some distance from Trump in the primary but has fully embraced his support and agenda since, including a joint fundraiser. National Republicans' House campaign arm added 4.5 million United States dollars, and the USChamber of Commerce chipped in another seven figures.

With the inflated price tag and the 15-month lag time between the special election and the November 2018 midterms, the contest might not hold much predictive value.

"For all the attention to the national frame here, what folks want is representation that delivers a higher quality of life", said Ossoff. The race between Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff is se. Republicans are favored to hold a fourth seat on Tuesday in SC, while Democrats already held their lone open seat in a California special election.

Last year, an unprecedented $4.2 million was spent in the race that resulted in U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker succeeding the retired U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts in the Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District, which covers most of Lancaster County. Republicans are favored to hold a fourth seat on Tuesday in SC, while Democrats already held their lone open seat in a California special election.