June 20th, 2017 the voters of the 6th Congressional District of Georgia held a run-off election to determine who would be sent to Congress to replace Dr. Tom Price. Dr. Tom Price was appointed by President Donald Trump as Secretary of Health and Human Services.The special election led to a run-off election between Karen Handel-R and Jon Ossoff-D
The special election was the most expensive house race in US History. Handel's opponent, Jon Ossoff, a political new comer and former aide to Representatives Hank Johnson and John Lewis, raised a record breaking 23 million, primarily from outside of the Georgia and was narrowly defeated by Handel, 52% vs 47%. The fundraising record by Ossoff put the intentions of the Democrat party into focus for Republicans. The democrats were set to "flip the seat", by electing Ossoff, and sending a message to President Trump.
Close to $800,000 of the record breaking fundraising was given to Ossoff by Planned Parenthood, a foe of Karen Handel. Planned Parenthood continues to be the forefront of the raging debate over healthcare, women's rights, and repealing of "obamacare". Many have called for the elimination of funding for planned parenthood while others demand that the funding stay in place.
Handel raised less, spent less, and secured victory by retaining the seat under Republican representation. This behavior signals the conservative values that Handel ran on and is an indication that she will exercise conservative values as the Congressman from the 6th District. With the battle over the budget, tax reform, and healthcare, Handel may be a decisive voice to reduce the national debt and balance the federal budget.
Unlike Ossoff, Handel lives within the boundaries of the 6th District and is not new to politics. Handel previously was elected as the 26th Secretary of State of Georgia. She was first elected in 2003 and chaired the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. During her term she balanced the budget and led the county back into the black. She was elected as Secretary of State and served from 2007-2010, resigning to run for Governor. She was narrowly defeated by now second term governor Nathan Deal.
She was appointed in 2011 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity as Senior Vice President over publican policy. She left in 2012 after the controversial decision to end funding for Planned Parenthood, but later restored the funding after much public backlash.She later ran unsuccessful for Senate in 2014.
Handel's personal story includes a stunning display of the opportunities that exist in America. Handel came from a broken home and sought her own destiny as a teenager. She attended college, worked for Hallmark cards and eventually served as the deputy chief of staff to former Vice President Dan Quayle's wife, Marilyn. Ms. Quayle worked towards raising awareness of breast cancer and research. Handel later worked for KPMG, Ciba Vision, and in 2002 was named as Governor Sonny Perdue's deputy chief of staff.
Congressman Handel is the only woman in Georgia's congressional delegation. The last woman elected to Congress from either party was Cynthia McKinney who served from 2005-2007 and in those three years had a portion of 285 in Atlanta named after her. Currently, woman account for roughly half of the US population and are represented in congress by roughly one-fifth of congressman. According to Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University with Handel, there will be 105 women in congress. This includes 84 House representatives and 21 senators. The representation equates to 19.6% and is the highest percentage in US history.
In defiance of the results of the election, and a moniker of the Democrat party, an elector at the Cobb County Election Board refused to certify the results. Jessica Brooks, Democrat appointed member, abstained from voting to certify Handel's victory. The vote carried with three yes votes with Ms. Brooks abstaining and one member absent.
She was presented to the speaker y Rep. John Lewis and sworn it together with newly elected representative Rep. Ralph Norman
Handel stated in an interview earlier this week that her first order of business would be to reunify the 6th district after the divisive tactics by the democrat in resistance to President Trump. The democrats unleashed millions of dollars and nasty ads in an attempt to flip the seat. The campaigns inundated residents in and around the 6th district with calls, mailers, and knocks on their doors.