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Georgia 6th: Handel urges Republicans to defy ‘angry’ Democrats

Augusta - Republican Karen Handel called on conservative activists Saturday to defy “angry” Democrats in Georgia’s 6th District race, casting Democrat Jon Ossoff as a stooge of Washington liberals.

Riffing on the 1979 hit “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” she compared House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – a favorite foil of the GOP – with a certain horned character: “Nancy is coming down to Georgia. She’s looking for a seat to steal.”

She added, rhyming: “Well, Nancy, my name is Karen. And it might be a sin. But I’ll take your bet – you’re going to regret – cause Georgia's got Handel in."

Her speech to the Georgia GOP convention ended with the Charlie Daniels Band song playing as she walked off stage.

Handel and Ossoff square off in the nationally-watched June 20 runoff, a furious proxy battle that both parties are desperate to win. The most expensive U.S. House race in the nation’s history, an Ossoff victory in territory long held by the GOP would be a blow to Donald Trump’s presidency.

The district’s demographics favor Handel – Rep. Tom Price won the seat by a landslide in November – and Handel is relying on support from the GOP base to muscle through the runoff. Her speech was heavy with red-meat attacks, including a reference to comedian Kathy Griffin that provoked applause.

“Our mission remains constant: And that is to elect Republicans and advance conservative principles and ideas,” Handel said. “Our opposition, they are determined. They are united. United in their anger, united in their intolerance to anyone who would dare disagree with them.”

At a Friday night GOP fundraising dinner, Handel echoed the same themes, telling the crowd that Democrats “want this state badly.”

“I see the opposition. They’re not here tonight, but I see them every day on the campaign trail,” said Handel. “Let me tell you they’re determined. They’re also kind of angry.”

She closed: “On June 20, Nancy is going to get a rude awakening. Because we will have kicked some Ossoff.”

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.