As expected, the April 18 special election for the District 6 U.S. House of Representatives seat vacated by Tom Price, M.D., R-Roswell, is heading to a June 20 runoff.
But what may not have been anticipated is Democrat Jon Ossoff almost won the 18-candidate battle outright in a traditionally Republican-dominated district. With all counties reporting, according to the secretary of state's office, he had 48.10 percent of the vote (it takes 50 percent plus one to win outright). Ossoff will face Republican Karen Handel, who had 19.78 percent.
The district includes parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties. As the first Congressional election since President Donald Trump following his November election, the race is drawing national attention as a barometer for anti-Trump fervor.
Price resigned in February when he was confirmed as the new secretary of health and human services.
In a speech at his campaign party April 18, Ossoff said he is ready for the runoff.
"A dark-money, super PAC, negative advertising campaign (could not stop me). So bring it on, because we are courageous, we are humble, and we know how to fight,” he said, revving up the crowd with each "we."
In a statement emailed to the media April 19, Handel said she is pleased to advance to the runoff.
“I am truly humbled by the faith and trust the people of Georgia’s 6th District have placed in me,” Handel said. “Throughout my life, I have been called resilient, tough, even stubborn and it is that same fighting spirit I will take with me to Congress. But the hard work isn’t over yet. I would like to thank all of the Republican candidates who had the courage to run and I ask for all Republicans and conservatives to come together against Nancy Pelosi and her liberal lightweight, Jon Ossoff and keep this seat in Republican hands.”
Rounding out the top five were Bob Gray (10.81 percent), Dan Moody (8.85 percent) and Judson Hill (8.77 percent). The other candidates each had less than 1 percent of the vote: Republicans Kurt Wilson (0.94 percent) and David Abroms (0.85 percent), Democrats Ragin Edwards (0.26 percent) and Ron Slotin (0.25 percent), Republicans Bruce LeVell (0.24 percent), Mohammad Bhuiyan, Ph.D., and Keith Grawert (0.22 percent each), Democrat Amy Kremer (0.18 percent), Republican William Llop (0.17 percent) and Democrat Rebecca Quigg, M.D. (0.16 percent), Democrat Richard Keatley, Ph.D. (0.12 percent) and independents Alexander Hernandez (0.06 percent) and Andre Pollard (0.03 percent).
With Hill vacating his seat to run for Congress, eight candidates lined up to replace him in District 32, which includes part of Sandy Springs and will also have a runoff, but it will take place May 16.
With all precincts reporting, Democrat Christine Triebsch and Republican Kay Kirkpatrick, M.D., advanced to the runoff after getting 24.20 and 21.10 percent, respectively.
The remaining candidates had 15 percent of the vote or less: Republicans Royden “Roy” Daniels (15.21 percent), Gus Makris (10.19 percent) and Matt Campbell (9.99 percent), Democrats Bob Wiskind (8.68 percent) and Exton Howard (6.92 percent) and Republican Hamilton Matthew Beck (3.70 percent).
Results are unofficial until certified by each county's elections office.
- Staff Writer Lindsay Moscarello contrinbuted to this report.