Updated: Trump urges 6th District voters to back Karen Handel

President Donald Trump made a last-ditch appeal to Georgia's 6th District voters Monday, tweeting at two different points in the day that that they should back Republican Karen Handel during tomorrow's special election in order to block Democrats' tax, health care and border security agenda.

"The Dems want to stop tax cuts, good health care and Border Security. Their ObamaCare is dead with 100% increases in P's," Trump tweeted shortly before 8:30 a.m., referring to health care premiums. "Vote now for Karen H."

About eight hours later, Trump tweeted about the race again, this time highlighting the fact that Jon Ossoff, Handel's Democratic opponent, lives outside the 6th District:

"Karen Handel's opponent in #GA06 can't even vote in the district he wants to represent because he doesn't even live there!" Trump said in a pair of tweets. "He wants to raise taxes and kill healthcare. On Tuesday, #VoteKarenHandel."

Ossoff lives just south of the 6th District so his fiance, a medical student at Emory University, can walk to work, he previously said. Members of Congress don't have to live in the districts they represent, but Ossoff said he plans to move to the 6th if he wins tomorrow.

Trump and several of his top White House advisers are said to be closely watching Tuesday's special election to replace Tom Price, which is seen as a referendum on his young presidency and a test for Democrats' new messaging strategy ahead of 2018. More than $50 million has been spent on shaping the contest, making it by far the most expensive congressional race of all time.

A tax overhaul and border security haven't been major points of contention on the campaign trail here, but health care has become a defining issue, coming up over and over again in recent weeks as Ossoff has sought to to tie Handel to the House GOP's highly unpopular Obamacare replacement bill. Only one-in-four 6th District voters approve of the proposal, which is currently being renegotiated in the Senate, and Handel has defended it in recent debates.

Ossoff’s campaign had no immediate comment on the tweets, but he said in April that Trump’s Twitter attacks were “misinformed.” Ossoff has called for an “aggressive simplification” of the tax code and an immigration package that provides a path to legal status for those in the country illegally without felony records.

He opposes plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but said he will work with Republicans to nix the medical device tax, offer small business tax credits and increase competition in the insurance market across state lines.

As for Trump, Handel initially kept her distance ahead of the first round of voting but has embraced the president in the runoff.

Trump, in turn, has reciprocated, headlining a fundraiser for Handel when he was in town in late April, where he quipped to the former secretary of state that she'd "better win." He's also sent several of his top deputies to campaign on her behalf and recorded several robocalls trashing Ossoff.

“We’ve done great things so far, but all of our progress creating jobs, growing our economy and cracking down on illegal immigration will be stopped if Nancy Pelosi wins and puts her guy in your congressional seat,” Trump said in his latest appeal that greeted voters as recently as 10 days ago. “He’ll raise your taxes and crime will surge.”

This also isn't Trump's first time taking to his favorite social media platform to discuss the 6th District race. He took to Twitter several times on April 18, the day of first round voting, to rip Ossoff as a "disaster."

More recent AJC 6th District coverage:

National Democrats, Republicans both see 6th District as a must-win

Jon Ossoff: The making of a Georgia Democratic dynamo

Karen Handel: A ‘fighter’ returns to the political arena

When your own rhetoric gives you license to commit mayhem. And worse

First-timers get involved in 6th District get-out-the-vote effort

Exhausted 6th District voters prepare for vote

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that...