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Republican Wins Georgia Election, Blow to Anti-Trump Effort

With about 83 percent of the vote counted, Handel was ahead 52.6 percent to 47.4 percent against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, prompting CNN and NBC News to call the race in Handel's favor.

AFP

Updated:June 21, 2017, 9:17 AM IST
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Republican Wins Georgia Election, Blow to Anti-Trump Effort
Karen Handel, Republican candidate for Georgia's 6th Congressional District, makes an appearance before supporters prior to giving her acceptance speech at her election night party at the Hyatt Regency at Villa Christina in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.(Image: Reuters)
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Washington: Republican Karen Handel won a fierce, closely-watched special congressional election Tuesday in Georgia, US media projected, salvaging a seat in traditional conservative territory where Democrats had hoped to strike a blow against Donald Trump's presidency.

With about 83 percent of the vote counted, Handel was ahead 52.6 percent to 47.4 percent against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, prompting CNN and NBC News to call the race in Handel's favor.

The result no doubt comes as relief for Republicans who had grown concerned about whether their party -- buffeted by the scandals plaguing the Republican president -- could hold the seat in Georgia's sixth district. It became the most expensive congressional race in US history.

"Congratulations to Karen Handel on her big win in Georgia 6th. Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!" tweeted Trump, who had publicly backed Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state.

Trump's party also claimed victory in another congressional race Tuesday, in neighboring South Carolina. Both contests were held to replace lawmakers who vacated their seats in order to join the Trump cabinet.

"Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race, and Karen would not be defeated," US House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement about the Georgia race.

"We dodged a bullet tonight," Georgia-based Republican strategist Chip Lake told AFP.

In conceding the race, Ossoff, a filmmaker and former political staffer, signalled Democrats could learn from these races and prepare for the larger battle for control of the US Congress in 2018.

"This is not the outcome many of us were hoping for," he told supporters.

"But this is the beginning of something much bigger than us."

But Democrats are now zero for 4 in converting special elections this year, following earlier losses in Republican-held districts in Kansas and Montana.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
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