Republican Karen Handel is running against newcomer Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election on Tuesday in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. Political junkies are focused on the race between Handel -- a prolife conservative who was once Georgia’s Secretary of State -- against Ossoff, who grew up in a leafy suburb of Atlanta but had not resided in the Sixth District until well into the race. Spero News interviewed Handel in 2012 after she was gulled into leaving the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which was subjected to intimidation by Planned Parenthood and the Democratic National Committee.

There are polls that are showing a very tight race between the two in what is being billed as a referendum on President Donald Trump and his policies.

On Monday, Trump tweeted his support for Handel. He wrote: “The Dems want to stop tax cuts, good healthcare and Border Security. Their ObamaCare is dead with 100% increases in payments. Vote now for Karen Handel.”

The Congressional seat was left often when the former occupant, Tom Price, became Trump’s secretary of health and human services. A first round of the special election was held on April 18. Ossoff won 48 percent of the vote, while Handel received 19 percent and thus fell to second place. Because neither received more than 50 percent of the vote, a June 20 runoff was triggered.

Democrats are optimistic that Ossoff can win and thus represent the beginning of a wave of Democratic resistance to Trump. However, a win by Handel would be greeted by Republicans as evidence that their support among their base is strong. The race has broken records for fundraising: total spending is expected to surpass $50 million and thus make it the most expensive House race in American history.

The latest Real Clear Politics poll average shows Ossoff narrowly ahead of Handel with 49.3% to her 47.8%. Ossoff reported three times as many donations from the San Francisco Bay area than the entire state of Georgia in two months’ time, according to the Mercury News. USA Today reported that he raised $15 million during the first week of June.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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