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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019

A 30-year-old first-time politician almost upset Donald Trump (even more)

Jon Ossoff was called a “super liberal” by Trump.

Image: John Bazemore/AP

A FIRST-TIME POLITICIAN came within a hair’s breadth of winning a US congressional seat formerly held by a member of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

The Georgia Sixth District race will go to a runoff in a race that poses an early measure for President Donald Trump and both major parties ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional staffer, and Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, will meet in the June 20 runoff. But as they campaign across the northern suburbs of Atlanta, they will act largely as proxies for the roiled political atmosphere in Washington and across the country.

Ossoff led an 18-candidate field in the race to replace Republican Tom Price, who resigned to join Trump’s administration as health secretary. But Ossoff fell shy of the majority required to claim the seat, finishing with 48.6% of the vote.

That opens the door for Handel who finished a distant second, but ahead of the Republican candidates.

Republicans believe a two-candidate scenario will benefit them in a district that has been in Republican hands since 1978.

PastedImage-35133 Source: Donald Trump via Twitter

Trump barely won the Georgia sixth over Hillary Clinton, falling shy of a majority just four years after Republican Mitt Romney garnered more than 60% of the presidential vote.

Given that, Ossoff has tried to capitalise on the anti-Trump energy while still appealing to independents and moderate Republicans in the conservative district.

He demonstrated the tightrope through the final hours of the primary campaign.

PastedImage-43905 Source: Donald Trump via Twitter

“This is not about me. … This is about the kind of community we want to live in. The kind of country we believe in,” Ossoff told supporters Monday night, forgoing any mention of the president despite Trump attacking him on Twitter as a “super liberal” who wanted to raise taxes, protect criminals and allow illegal immigration.

Trump continued his barrage on Twitter last night, slamming Ossoff for living outside the district, something Ossoff says he does so that his girlfriend is closer to her work at Emory University’s medical complex.

With Associated Press reporting.

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