Brookhaven, GA, April 19, 2017 – by Trey Benton – In a crowded race under a Nation’s microscope, a race that many are calling a referendum on Republican President Donald Trump, Georgia’s 6th District Special Election to fill the seat Tom Price vacated to become U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, will be decided in a runoff on June 20th.
Republican Karen Handel and Democrat front-runner Jon Ossoff were the top two vote getters in a crowded field of 18 candidates, but neither was able to pull in 50% plus one vote to claim the seat outright.
Throughout Election Night, Ossoff stayed above the 50% mark, even after DeKalb County and Cobb County showed 100% of their respective precincts reported. It seemed as though the vote counters in Fulton County took a bit of a break from tabulating their results once the Counties/Precincts Reporting tally’s stuck at 67%.
The stall in the Fulton County results was blamed on a “faulty memory card” that experienced a data error, according to Fulton County officials. After the faulty card was found, the vote count resumed.
Once the Fulton results finally began to come in, it became apparent that no candidate was going to take home a victory Tuesday night, although Ossoff told supporters the campaign has already achieved a victory of sorts.
“There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages,” said Ossoff. “We have shattered expectations. We are changing the world. And your voices are going to ring out across this state and across this country.”
In the 2016 Presidential Election, Trump only won the “red” 6th District over Democrat Challenger Hillary Clinton, by just 1 percentage point, giving Democrats hope they can “Flip the 6th.”
Since 1978, when former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was elected to represent the 6th after Democrat U.S. Representative John James Flynt Jr. declined to seek reelection for the seat he held for 34 years, the District has been a Republican stronghold. Gingrich represented the 6th from 1979 until his resignation in 1999.
Voters in the 6th District have also elected the likes of Republican U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, who represented the 6th from 1999 to 2005, and most recently, former Republican U.S. Representative Tom Price held the seat from 2005 until he resigned in 2017 to become the Nation’s Health Secretary.
The race for the 6th continues….