Republicans from the 6th District and beyond celebrated Tuesday night when former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel won the congressional seat after a close and expensive campaign.
Handel won over Democrat Jon Ossoff by 5 percentage points in a race that polls showed to be neck-and-neck in the days leading up to the special election. Handel will fill the seat in the U.S. Representatives vacated by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, who left the House when he was selected to be a part of President Donald Trump’s cabinet.
Trump praised Handel’s performance shortly after it was projected she would win.
Things are looking great for Karen H!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2017
Handel thanked Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who both endorsed her in the general election, in her acceptance speech Tuesday night. Pence visited the 6th District in the weeks before the race, attending a fundraiser for Handel after visiting Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
Handel’s future Congressional colleagues, including U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, also congratulated her on Twitter.
Congratulations to @karenhandel on her hard fought victory. She will be a great addition to Georgia's strong congressional delegation.— Barry Loudermilk (@RepLoudermilk) June 21, 2017
Conservatives on Twitter lauded Handel’s victory as a sign that voters were still supportive of Trump after a tumultuous first six months of the new administration.
Others mocked the record-shattering fundraising totals Ossoff brought in from across the country. Republicans frequently criticized Ossoff’s fundraising , which took 95 percent of its money from outside of Georgia.
Hillary Clinton: No one could ever waste money on losing an election like I did— inveigle (@inveigle1) June 21, 2017
Jon Ossoff: Hold my beer#GA06
Even Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway got in on the jokes.
Meanwhile, Democrats were congratulating Ossoff on a hard fought race in a district that was once uncompetitive for Democratic candidates.
LOL honestly, if you had told me on Nov 8th that in June Dems would be trying to flip a seat in GEORGIA & come in FOUR POINTS in SC-5? pic.twitter.com/ZKrijgRK5j— Carlee Griffeth (@carleegriffeth) June 21, 2017
GOP will say this means the storm has passed, but Jon over preformed every D #GA06 candidate ever.— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) June 21, 2017
We aren't fooled. Momentum is with us!
Others took Ossoff’s loss as a sign that Democrats needed to reevaluate their campaign strategies.
#Ossof Race better be a wake up call for Democrats - business as usual isn't working. Time to stop rehashing 2016 and talk about the future.— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) June 21, 2017
But everyone can agree on one thing: We’re glad not to have to see another political ad on TV for at least a few months.
Not sure how Atlanta TV stations will fill the hours of programming provided by Ossoff/Handel ads after Tuesday— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) June 17, 2017