SANDY SPRINGS, Georgia—After $50 million and a congressional contest bigger than some presidential primaries, the special election in Georgia’s 6th District to replace Rep. Tom Price ended up where it began, with the House seat still in Republican hands and national Democrats still looking for a way to turn the resistance to Donald Trump into a victory at the polls.
With 81 percent reporting, former Secretary of State Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent.
From the moment Price announced he was leaving the seat to become President Donald Trump’s secretary of health and human services, the race to replace him was a highly nationalized, money-soaked brawl—a referendum, especially for Democrats, on the president in an affluent suburban Atlanta district he’d barely won in November.
After Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) endorsed Ossoff, then a 29-year-old unknown Democrat who lived just outside the district, liberal activists from across the country flooded Ossoff’s campaign war chest, blowing it up into a $23 million mega-campaign in five months. Within weeks, he rocketed to the front of the field in the Republican-packed 17-way jungle primary in April.
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