US Republican vows 'all hands on deck' in Georgia congressional runoff

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That tweet followed another Trump posted Tuesday evening, declaring a major Republican win "despite major outside money". In the much-watched race in the typically Republican district, Democrat Jon Ossoff finished first with roughly 48% of the vote, triggering a runoff with second-place finisher, Republican Karen Handel. The question for Ossoff, and Democrats more broadly, is whether they can successfully link an establishment Republican like Handel to the less-than-popular Trump over the course of a two month, one-versus-one runoff slog.

"You're looking at the top Republican vote-getter, y'all", said Handel, to cheers, claiming her spot in the slimmed down race a little after 11 p.m.

But political commentators are united in surprise at the way that this race turned from a strong Republican seat to a Democrat barely coming up short of 50 percent just months after Donald Trump won his race for president.

"The Democrats went all-in on this race", Spicer told reporters. "We will be ready to fight on and win in June if it is necessary", he said. "They came up short", Spicer said during Wednesday's briefing.

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The district, which encompasses a swath of well-heeled suburbs north of Atlanta, has elected Republicans to the House since the late 1970s, but Trump carried it by only 1 percentage point in the November presidential election.

Ossoff is a former congressional aide who has also worked as an executive producer for a handful of news documentaries, while Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state, according to the New York Times. "I say bring it on", she said. We all have to rise above it, that it is about the district that has a long legacy of Republican leadership, from my good friend current HHS Secretary Tom Price, to Senator Isakson and former Speaker Newt Gingrich. "So of course he has a vested interest in making sure that a Republican holds the seat". Donald Trump and his billionaire, special-interest friends - which outspent us by almost 2-to-1 on the air - thought that Democrats would be lucky to get 40% of the vote. "There is no amount of dark money, super PAC, negative advertising that can overcome real grassroots energy like this".

Trump recorded a robocall prior to the election urging Republicans to vote, warning constituents that Ossoff would raise taxes, destroy their health care and "flood our country with illegal immigrants".

Democrat sachems cleared the field for 30-year-old Jon Ossoff and showered him with millions of dollars. It didn't happen on Tuesday night - and now Democrats will have to wait nearly two months to see if they can start to build momentum for the November 2018 midterms.