Karen Handel has conceded the Georgia’s 6th Congressional District race to Lucy McBath Thursday morning.
“After carefully reviewing all of the election results data, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday. Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her,” stated Handel.
The 6th District matchup drew far less national attention than the last time the district was in play, when Handel, Georgia’s former Secretary of State and a former Fulton County Commission chair, fended off a star-studded challenge from political newcomer Jon Ossoff.
Ossoff showed up at McBath’s watch party and expressed confidence early on that she would manage to unseat his former opponent. He pointed to President Donald Trump, who held campaign rallies stumping for Republican candidates including Georgia’s Brian Kemp, as a motivating factor in voter turnout.
“There’s no doubt (Trump) is a huge part of why there’s this much activism, this much concern about the country, why so many people for example in the 6th District who may have voted Republican historically are questioning their political identity and asking whether the GOP under Donald Trump really reflects our values,” Ossoff said.
Handel staked her first reelection campaign on some of the GOP’s big-ticket legislative items, including the tax law, school safety grants and response to the opioid crisis.
McBath, a gun control advocate and former flight attendant, has spent much of her campaign sharing her personal story to make the case for why she should be in Congress. She lost her teenage son to gun violence in 2012 and is a breast cancer survivor. Gun control has been the central tenet of her campaign, and it resonated with supporter Beth Freeman, who was one of several women wearing red “Moms Demand Action” T-shirts at McBath watch party.
“I think I’d be a puddle. As a candidate, she’s amazing,” Freeman said. “To pull herself out of such tragedy and run to do something about it.”
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