Article from The Washington Free Beacon
ATLANTA, Ga.—Democrat Jon Ossoff’s expensive bid to flip Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District fell short on Tuesday as he lost to Republican Karen Handel, who he had defeated by 28 percentage points in the election’s first round of voting two months ago.
The election was called by CNN shortly after 10:00 p.m., with Handel collecting 52.6 percent of the vote with just over 65 percent of precincts reporting, according to the network’s vote count. NBC projected the race soon after.
Georgia’s sixth district was flooded with record levels of spending for the special election to fill Republican Tom Price’s congressional seat.
The spending was not enough to overcome Republican criticism of Ossoff, who was branded by Handel as the Democratic establishment’s hand-picked candidate and criticized frequently for not living in the district they were competing to represent. Ossoff was also criticized for collecting nearly 97 percent of his fundraising haul from out-of-state donors.
Ossoff managed to defeat Handel handedly back on April 18, but failed to collect a majority of the votes, thus forcing the election to Tuesday’s runoff. Handel led a splintered Republican field with about 20 percent of the vote.
Handel was boosted in the final weeks of the election by support from both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who visited the district to campaign with Handel.
Ossoff announced his concession to Handel in remarks to his supporters in Atlanta.
“This was not the outcome any of us were hoping for, but this is the beginning of something much bigger than us, so thank you,” Ossoff said. “Thank you for the most extraordinary experience I’ve ever had the honor of being a part of.”
Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times was unavailable for comment.
UPDATE: 10:30 P.M.: This article was updated to include Ossoff’s concession remarks.