Ossoff vs. Handel: Georgia’s special election

Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in the hotly contested congressional special election in suburban Atlanta Tuesday. Handel garnered 52 percent of the vote compared with Ossoff’s 48 percent when the Associated Press called the race Tuesday night.

At her campaign headquarters, Handel thanked her supporters, campaign team and President  Trump.

“A special thanks to the president of the United States of America,” Handel said, as the crowd chanted Trump’s name. She also mentioned House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was shot last week in an attack on Republican lawmakers at a baseball practice. Handel said he texted her every week during the campaign to support her.

“We need to also lift up this nation so that we can find a more civil way to deal with our disagreements,” Handel said.

In beating Ossoff, a 30-year-old first-time candidate who mounted a surprisingly strong bid, Handel triumphed over a wave of liberal activism and organizing so robust that it transformed the once solidly red district to a total tossup in the months before the election. Democrats, fueled by anger at Trump and the Republican Congress’ efforts to repeal Obamacare, poured millions into the race, making it the most expensive congressional matchup in U.S. history.

Ossoff conceded the race earlier Tuesday, telling his supporters “hope is still alive.

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Karen Handel celebrates her win with husband Steve

Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th District Congressional seat Karen Handel celebrates with her husband Steve as she declares victory during an election-night watch party Tuesday, June 20, 2017, in Atlanta. (Photo: John Bazemore/AP)

Supporters react to election results for Karen Handel

Supporters react as election results for Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District seat Karen Handel are shown on a television during an election-night watch party Tuesday, June 20, 2017, in Atlanta. (Photo: John Bazemore/AP)

Democrat Jon Ossoff addresses his supporters after his defeat

Democrat Jon Ossoff is joined by his finance, Alisha Kramer, as he addresses his supporters after his defeat in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election in Atlanta, Ga., June 20, 2017. (Photo: Chris Aluka Berry/Reuters)

Supporters react as Jon Ossoff concedes

Supporter Jan Yanes, center, cries as Democratic candidate for 6th congressional district Jon Ossoff concedes to Republican Karen Handel at his election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (Photo: David Goldman/AP)

Voters cast their ballots

Voters cast their ballots in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election at a polling site in Sandy Springs, Ga., Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (Photo: David Goldman/AP)

Karen Handel after she voted

Karen Handel, Republican candidate for Congress, talks to the press Tuesday, June 20, 2017, after she voted in the 6th District Special Election at St Mary’s Orthodox Church in Roswell, Ga. (Photo: Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Jon Ossoff supports rally amid signs

Supporters for Georgia 6th Congressional District Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff rally and wave at passing cars amid signs for Republican candidate Karen Handel outside St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Handel’s polling place in Roswell, Georgia, U.S., June 20, 2017. (Photo: Bita Honarvar/Reuters)

‘I’m a Georgia Voter’ stickers

‘I’m a Georgia Voter’ stickers are available for people to cast their ballots during a special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church on June 20, 2017 in Tucker, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Jon Ossoff visits a campaign office on Election Day

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff speaks during a visit to a campaign office to speak with volunteers and supporters on election day as he runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 20, 2017 in Sandy Springs, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Michele Parsons casts her ballot with her children

Michele Parsons casts her ballot with her children Maria Parsons (L) and Maya Parsons during a special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church on June 20, 2017 in Tucker, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Election Day sign in a Jon Ossoff campaign office

A sign in a campaign office for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff shows today is E Day indicating that it is Election Day as he runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 20, 2017 in Tucker, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Jon Ossoff on Election Day

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff conducts an interview with the media on Election Day as he runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 20, 2017 in Tucker, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Kevin McCarthy speaks with Karen Handel

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy speaks with Republican candidate Karen Handel during a campaign stop as she runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 19, 2017 in Alpharetta, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Jon Ossoff greets supporters

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets supporters while campaigning for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election in Tucker, Ga., June 19, 2017. (Photo: Chris Aluka Berry/Reuters)

Karen Handel greets diners

Karen Handel, Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, center, greets diners during a campaign stop at Old Hickory House in Tucker, Ga., Monday, June 19, 2017. (Photo: David Goldman/AP)

Jon Ossoff with fiancee, Alisha Kramer, thanks volunteers and supporters

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff arrives with his fiancee, Alisha Kramer, to thank volunteers and supporters on the last night before election day as he runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 19, 2017 in Roswell, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Supporters respond as Karen Handel speaks

People listen as Republican candidate Karen Handel speaks during a campaign stop at Houck’s Grille as she runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 19, 2017 in Roswell, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A district map hangs behind Jon Ossoff

A district map hangs behind Democratic candidate for 6th congressional district Jon Ossoff as he talks to supporters during a stop at a campaign office in Chamblee, Ga., Monday, June 19, 2017. (Photo: David Goldman/AP)

Karen Handel greets diners

Karen Handel, Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th congressional district greets diners during a campaign stop at Old Hickory House in Tucker, Ga., Monday, June 19, 2017. (Photo: David Goldman/AP)

Jon Ossoff visits a campaign office

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff visits a campaign office to speak with volunteers and supporters on Election Day as he runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 20, 2017 in Tucker, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Karen Handel talks to reporters

Republican candidate for 6th congressional district Karen Handel talks to reporters during a campaign stop at Old Hickory House in Tucker, Ga., Monday, June 19, 2017. (Photo: David Goldman/AP)

Jon Ossoff speaks to volunteers and supporters

People look through a window to watch as Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff speaks to volunteers and supporters on the last night before election day as he runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 19, 2017 in Roswell, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Trump supporter listens to Karen Handel

People listen as Republican candidate Karen Handel speaks during a campaign stop at Houck’s Grille as she runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 19, 2017 in Roswell, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Jon Ossoff talks to supporters

Jon Ossoff, Democratic candidate for Georgia’s 6th congressional district talks to supporters during a stop at a campaign office in Chamblee, Ga., Monday, June 19, 2017. (Photo: David Goldman/AP)

Karen Handel takes a selfie with a supporter

Republican candidate Karen Handel takes a selfie with a supporter during a campaign stop at Houck’s Grille as she runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 19, 2017 in Roswell, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

People arrive to hear Jon Ossoff speak

People arrive to hear Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff speaks during a rally to thank volunteers and supporters on the last night before election day as he runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on June 19, 2017 in Roswell, Ga. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)