Georgia’s runoff Republican isn’t running away from President Donald Trump.
“I would hope so,” Karen Handel said when CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked if the former Georgia secretary of state believes Trump will visit the district to campaign for her ahead of a June runoff election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
Democrat Jon Ossoff came within two percentage points Tuesday of winning the seat outright in a race widely viewed as a referendum on the President’s popularity. If Ossoff had crossed the 50 percent threshold, then he would have avoided a runoff and already be on his way to Congress.
Eleven GOP candidates competed against one another in the 18-person field, but Handel hopes they will now all rally behind her.
“It is all hands on deck for us,” she said. “We know what is at stake here and I don’t think that this is about any one person. We all have to rise above it, that it is about the district that has a long legacy of Republican leadership.”
Voters in the suburban district north of Atlanta sent former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to Congress for two decades. And Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, the conservative Republican tapped by Trump to dismantle Obamacare, represented the district for another dozen years.
But Trump only won the district by one percentage point in the 2016 presidential election. Handel supported Trump in the 2016 election and thanked him on Twitter for his support of her candidacy.
“He just called to say, ‘Congratulations’ and encourage me and let me know that as we go into June 20, that it’s all hands on deck for Republicans and we take it very seriously,” she said on “New Day.”
Trump weighed in heavily on the race, tweeting about it repeatedly in the closing days of the race and criticizing Ossoff by name. Trump also recorded a robocall accusing Ossoff of planning to “flood our country with illegal immigrants.”
“If you don’t vote tomorrow, Ossoff will raise your taxes, destroy your health care and flood our country with illegal immigrants,” Trump said.