A Democrat came close to outright victory in Tuesday’s closely watched US congressional primary in Georgia, heading to a run-off in a race that Democrats tout as an early test of resistance to US President Donald Trump.
Jon Ossoff, 30, came first in a crowded field of candidates in the traditionally conservative 6th Congressional District, but narrowly fell short of passing the all-important 50 percent threshold.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Ossoff finished far ahead with 48.1 percent support. The nearest Republican — former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel — came in at just 19.8 percent.
Winning the June 20 run-off will be a steeper challenge for Ossoff, though, as Handel will almost certainly benefit from her party coalescing around a single candidate in a conservative-leaning district, but Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide, told energized supporters before all the returns were in that he and Democrats had “shattered expectations” with their performance.
“There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages,” Ossoff said. “No matter what the outcome is tonight — whether we take it all or whether we fight on — we have defied the odds. We have shattered expectations.”
As two candidates advance to a head-to-head vote Democrats still hope that Ossoff can capitalize on Trump’s lackluster popularity and make the race a test of the president’s first 100 days.
A shock upset in the national spotlight, the argument goes, would deeply embarrass the president and could kick-start efforts to retake control of the House of Representatives in next year’s midterm elections.
Georgia’s 6th Congressional District is in the relatively affluent and conservative suburbs of Atlanta. It has remained a Republican fortress since 1978 when it was won by former US representative Newt Gingrich.
Ossoff is running in a special election there to replace Tom Price, who resigned to become US secretary of health and human services.
Under normal circumstances a Republican win would be in little doubt, but Trump’s approval rating lags at about 40 percent in a Gallup tracking poll — a record low for an incoming US president.
A new Gallup poll shows just 45 percent of Americans think Trump will keep his campaign promises, down from 62 percent in early February.
The Ossoff political threat drew the personal interest of Trump, who recorded a robocall urging Republicans to troop to the polls and block the Democratic upstart.
Early yesterday Trump weighed in again, claiming that a Republican finishing with less than 20 percent support was a victory.
“Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG “R” win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help!” Trump tweeted.
In the run-up to Tuesday’s vote, Ossoff had marshaled an army of volunteers and reportedly amassed millions of US dollars in out-of-state contributions by Democratic groups.
Liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org in a statement called Ossoff’s first-place finish “a huge triumph for the resistance and for progressives.”
“The reason is clear: voters are rejecting Trump and his policies,” it said.
Part of what is fueling Democratic excitement about the race is that while Trump won Georgia by 6 percentage points, the district that Ossoff seeks to win supported Trump by barely 1 precentage point over then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The race quickly gained national attention, becoming the 11th most expensive election in House history, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
‘SACRIFICED’: Hu Weifeng became the sixth doctor to die from COVID-19 at Wuhan Central Hospital, where calls to raise the alarm over the virus were suppressed The death of a Chinese doctor at Wuhan’s “whistle-blower hospital” has prompted a wave of anger at hospital authorities for not protecting front-line health workers in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hu Weifeng (胡衛鋒), 42, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital where the whistle-blower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang (李文亮) worked, died of the virus on Tuesday after a four-month battle. Hu is the sixth doctor from his hospital killed by the virus. Another doctor who spoke out, Ai Fen (艾芬), said that authorities told hospital staff not to wear protective gear so as not to cause panic and reprimanded her for “harming
‘LEAST WE CAN DO’: The gesture was made famous by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting police brutality that targeted minorities They are images that surprised and moved Americans: police officers taking a knee alongside protesters in the most widespread civil unrest to rock the US in decades — and in doing so embracing an anti-racism gesture denounced by US President Donald Trump. As Trump pushes for a crackdown on often-violent protests over the death of George Floyd, police officers from New York to Los Angeles to Houston, Texas, are making gestures of solidarity with demonstrators incensed at the latest case of an unarmed black man dying while in police custody. “I took off the helmet and laid the batons down. Where do
RALLYING A DEFENSE: Former envoys wrote an op-ed piece defending Anna Lindstedt, who was removed for attempting to free Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai in China Sweden’s former ambassador to Beijing goes on trial in Stockholm on Friday for allegedly overstepping her mandate by trying to negotiate the release of a Chinese-Swedish dissident held in China. Anna Lindstedt is accused of brokering an unauthorized meeting during her time as ambassador to free publisher Gui Minhai (桂民海). Lindstedt — a veteran envoy who had previously represented Sweden in both Vietnam and Mexico, and acted as Sweden’s chief negotiator at the 2015 climate summit in Paris — has denied the charges. Gui, a Chinese-born Swedish citizen known for publishing gossipy titles about Chinese political leaders out of a Hong Kong book
From boiled catfish soup to spicy fried frog, an eight-year-old in pyjamas and a chef’s hat is delighting Myanmar with her culinary prowess in a nation still being told to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moe Myint May Thu’s mother posted a video online at the end of April showing off her daughter’s skills as the youngster threw together some spicy fried prawns. With her wide, gap-toothed grin, the video has bounced across social media and brought stardom to the child along with an online moniker: “Little Chef.” She now sells dishes to order and is counting the dividends. “I just