NRA-backed candidate wins high-stakes election despite being grossly outspent
By Chris Eger
Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel defeated her Democrat opponent, one-time national security aide Jon Ossoff. (Photo: Kaitlin Kolarik/WABE)
Republican Karen Handel on Tuesday won a special election for a U.S. House seat against Democrat Jon Ossoff in the most expensive congressional race in history.
The hard-fought campaign, in which Democrats poured money and effort to flip the traditionally red Georgia 6th District seat left open when Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Price was sworn in as Secretary of Health and Human Services, was won by Handel with 52 percent of the vote.
While the Center for Responsive Politics documented that over $56.7 million had been spent in the short campaign, viewed by many as a referendum on the Trump administration, gun politics also played a part in the contest.
Ossoff, who outraised his opponent by a margin of over 6 to 1, was endorsed by Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a Democrat well-known for his stance on gun control, then publicly sparred with Handel over the state’s controversial campus carry measure and was embraced by gun control groups.
“Jon Ossoff stands with the majority of American voters on the issue of gun violence,” said the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence in their endorsement last month.