Pelosi tries to reassure Dems after Georgia loss

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 22, 2017

A special Georgia congressional election billed as a referendum on Trump's presidency was won by Republican Karen Handel by almost 3 points in a suburban Atlanta district over Democrat Jon Ossoff.

Handel won the seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

The two Republican victories last night come as the latest set of close but no cigar losses for Democrats in special elections this year.

"If we think we're going to win these elections because President Trump's at 35 percent, I think in districts like mine and certainly Georgia and SC, it takes more than that", said Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota.

Republican Karen Handel on election day after she is projected the victor for the Georgia 6th District special election on June 20, 2017. The $25 million raised was not enough to reverse the luck of the Democrats, who suffered defeat in districts within Kansas, Montana and SC.

The Georgia race was seen by many as an early referendum on Trump.

Moulton said the recent election results necessitated a conversation among Democrats about shaking things up.

"Ossoff race better be a wake up call for Democrats - business as usual isn't working", tweeted Representative Seth Moulton of MA. "We clearly need to have the right message and the right messengers to show the American people that we can help and that we have a vision, that we have a plan".

The Georgia race ends as the most expensive House campaign in US history, with a tab that may exceed $50 million. "It is possible that he could actually get re-elected if Democrats aren't careful".

Asked if that meant Pelosi should go, Moulton - who backed Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan's challenge to Pelosi's leadership post past year - said: "I think that's a question for the caucus to decide".

Some are arguing that the Georgia race, in which Republicans ran heavily against Nancy Pelosi, proves that she is toxic and should retire. "Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race, and Karen would not be defeated", House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. "We also know we're not going to win every time, and the focus for us is about 2018".

Handel devoted much of her speech to thanking national and state Republicans for backing her campaign before making a direct appeal to Ossoff's supporters. A Democrat won the fifth election.

In another tweet Trump blasted Ossoff, claiming that he would raise taxes "to the highest level" and would be "weak on crime and security". "And everyone pretty much sat in silence and I'd like to think that they were as shocked as I was that they were hearing the spin that was being put on this loss", Rice said.

And Republicans capitalized on that in their race against Ossoff in this historically Republican district, running ads tying him to Pelosi in the hopes it would motivate the GOP base to turn out.

The president was on the mind of Democrats gathering for their weekly conference meeting Wednesday morning - but frustrated members made it clear they would find their own way forward after the disappointing losses.

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