Handel on 6th District runoff: "Let's kick a little Ossoff" - CBS46 News

Handel on 6th District runoff: "Let's kick a little Ossoff"

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The Georgia special election for the 6th Congressional District will go to a runoff after Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff failed to reach more than 50 percent of the vote Tuesday night.

Ossoff received 48 percent of the vote, which is higher than previously predicted. Republican Karen Handel got nearly 20 percent. 

Karen Handel arrived to a hero's welcome at her election party in Roswell. She was all smiles, but admitted to being a little nervous about the outcome of what she says has been a very competitive race.

What Handel told the crowd is getting major buzz Wednesday morning.

"Let's celebrate and get some sleep and hit the ground running so that on June 20, we keep the 6th district red and kick a little Ossoff," said Handel to roaring applause.

Handel statement

Handel issued this statement after the runoff was announced:

“I am truly humbled by the faith and trust the people of Georgia’s 6th District have placed in me. Throughout my life, I have been called resilient, tough, even stubborn and it is that same fighting spirit I will take with me to Congress. But the hard work isn’t over yet. I would like to thank all of the Republican candidates who had the courage to run and I ask for all Republicans and conservatives to come together against Nancy Pelosi and her liberal lightweight, Jon Ossoff and keep this seat in Republican hands.” 

Republican donations likely will begin to pour in for the runoff, now that one of the eleven Republican candidates in the race will go up against Ossoff in the June 20 runoff.

Meanwhile, Democrats are already forming a strategy on how to attack Handel. In a statement Wednesday morning, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called Handel a "big-spending, career politician." Democrats also plan to go after Handel for her role in the Susan G. Komen Foundation's decision to cut off grants to Planned Parenthood.

"Your voices are going to ring out across this state and across this country," said Ossoff to a room full of supporters Tuesday night. "There is no amount of dark money, super PAC, negative advertising that can overcome real grassroots energy like this."

Ossoff statement

Ossoff released this statement regarding Tuesday night's election results:

“This is already a remarkable victory. We defied the odds, shattered expectations, and now are ready to fight on and win in June. They said it couldn’t be done. And when they realized we were ahead, they threw millions of dollars against us. But no amount of dark super-PAC money can overcome real grassroots energy. Because our campaign is built upon a new vision for our district: making Metro Atlanta the Silicon Valley of the South, cutting wasteful spending and bringing back accountability to Washington, and fighting to protect women’s access to health care. I want to thank all of the volunteers who pounded the pavement, knocked on doors, or made phone calls. This is the most inspiring team I've ever had the honor to be a part of. Onward to victory.”

President Donald Trump has weighed in on the race, calling the runoff a victory for Republicans. Trump tweeted, "Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG *R* win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help!"

Reporters asked Handel about the impact of President Trump's involvement. 

"I think the president is interested in what happens here. Why wouldn't he be?" asked Handel. "He's a Republican president. So of course he has a vested interest in making sure that a Republican holds the seat."

DNC Chair Tom Perez's statement

DNC Chair Tom Perez also sounded off on the runoff in the 6th District:

"Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan can’t be feeling great right now. In a district that Tom Price won by 23 points just last November, tonight was an early round victory for Democrats because of the hard work of Jon Ossoff and a groundswell of grassroots volunteers who organized, knocked on doors, and made phone calls to put Jon in a strong position to win in June. Donald Trump and his billionaire, special-interest friends – which outspent us by nearly 2-to-1 on the air – thought that Democrats would be lucky to get 40% of the vote. Tonight’s results are further proof that the grassroots energy we’re seeing across the country can translate to electoral progress in every zip code. We’re not even 100 days into Donald Trump’s administration, but the voters of Georgia’s 6thdistrict are already fed up with Republican leadership. Georgia voters want a bold vision of inclusion and economic opportunity for every Georgia family, so Jon Ossoff is in a strong position to become the first Democrat to represent the Georgia 6thin nearly 40 years. And while Republicans have their backs against the wall, Democrats will keep their foot on the gas through Election Day because the residents of Georgia’s 6th district deserve a representative who will fight for them. That is Jon Ossoff."

Meanwhile, the results of other races across metro Atlanta were reported Tuesday night.

A state senate race is also headed to a run-off vote. Democrat Christine Triebsch and Republican Kay Kirkpatrick are the two candidates vying for the District 32 state senate seat.

Judson Hill vacated the seat to run for the District 6 congressional seat.

Also, the city of South Fulton has a mayor. Former Fulton County Commissioner Bill Edwards defeated entrepreneur Benny Crane in a runoff.

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