Republican Karen Handel declares victory in Georgia race for Congress

2:03 p.m Wednesday, June 21, 2017 Georgia Politics and Government
ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Karen Handel points at her supporters while thanking them during her election night party in the 6th District race with Jon Ossoff on Tuesday. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Republican Karen Handel celebrated her win over Democrat Jon Ossoff on Tuesday to a crowd chanting “Karen, Karen, Karen” as she heads to Congress to represent Atlanta’s northern suburbs.

“This was going to be a very, very tight race, it was going to be contentious, and it was going to require all hands on deck, and that’s exactly what we had,” Handel said.

Handel thanked President Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans who supported her in the nationally watched runoff, leading to cheers of “Trump, Trump, Trump” from the crowd at the Hyatt Regency in Brookhaven.

Handel, Georgia’s former Secretary of State, maintained Republican control of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which was previously represented by Tom Price, who is now Trump’s Secretary for Health and Human Services.

“Tomorrow the real work will begin — the hard work of governing and doing that in a civil, responsible way,” she said.

Handel’s supporters rejoiced with cheers and sighs of relief after the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history, costing more than $50 million.

Handel said Ossoff was gracious and thanked her for a “spirited campaign” when he called her to concede.

“We may have some different beliefs, but we are part of one community, the community of the 6th District,” Handel said. “My pledge is to be part of the solution: to focus on governing, to put my experience to work in helping to solve the very serious issues we’re facing in this country.”

The race was called for Handel around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.
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