The most expensive House race in US history became an expensive loss for the Democrats Tuesday as Republican candidate Karen Handel prevailed in the special election for Georgia's 6th Congressional District. The former Georgia secretary of state won with around 52% of the vote to 48% for Democrat Jon Ossoff, who had been trying to pull off an upset win in a district that has been represented by a Republican since 1979, the AP reports. At Handel's victory party Tuesday night, supporters chanted "Karen, Karen, Karen," followed by "Trump, Trump, Trump" after she thanked the president and other leading Republicans who supported her campaign, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The cost of the race is expected to top $50 million, including around $30 million spent by Democrats trying to flip a district Trump narrowly won and gain momentum before the midterms. "Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race, and Karen would not be defeated," said House Speaker Paul Ryan. During the campaign, Republicans called Ossoff soft on national security and linked him to Nancy Pelosi. "We showed the world that in places where no one thought it was possible you could fight, we could fight," he said in his concession speech, per Politico. "This is not the outcome any of us were hoping for," he said. "But this is the beginning of something much bigger than us." (Read more Karen Handel stories.)