Newt Gingrich, Sen. Johnny Isakson, Tom Price…Jon Ossoff? Last night, Georgia’s 6th Congressional District made huge (YUGE!) strides in turning blue — with Democrat Jon Ossoff garnering over 48% percent of the vote and beating every other candidate in the jungle primary by a long-shot.
With President Trump’s appointment of Representative Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year, a vacancy was left to fill for Georgia’s next U.S. Representative in the 6th District. It was announced that a special election would be held on April 18th using the jungle format: meaning if one candidate did not exceed 50% + 1 vote, the top two candidates (regardless of party) would advance to a run-off election in June. Immediately, 18 candidates threw their hat in the race, including 5 Democrats.
Comprised of Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, East Cobb, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Tucker, and Brookhaven, the 6th District has remained predominantly red — represented by a Republican in Congress for nearly 40 years. But results during the 2016 election signaled a seismic shift, with Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump in some precincts and coming very close in others.
Last night, that shift was clearly illustrated by Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff’s incredible lead over every other candidate. Although he was shy of the majority by just 2%, a Democrat now leads against Republican Karen Handel heading into the June run-off elections. After months of campaigning and attacks from Republicans, Ossoff claimed an unprecedented victory that few expected.
Red Clay Democrats gathered in the 6th District last night at Hudson Grille Brookhaven for our #FlipThe6th Watch Party to watch the results as the poured in. Sponsored by Erica Wyatt and joined by Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst and RCD-endorsed Rep. Brenda Lopez (who also saw a historic win by becoming the first Latina elected to the Georgia General Assembly), we had an incredible turnout as we witnessed a monumental night for Georgia Democrats. Despite what Donald Trump had to say…
But the fight isn’t over yet…Democrats need to do everything possible to get out the vote for the June 20th runoff election, as this election will be much harder to win. Although Karen Handel split votes among her ten Republican opponents last night, she will be the lone Republican on the ballot during the run-off. This means we will have to work twice as hard to get over the finish line this time.