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Fri April 28, 2017

The race to fill Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price’s old seat in the House of Representatives will proceed to a June 20 runoff after no candidate met the required 50 percent threshold during the April 18 special election. A traditionally safe seat for Republicans in recent years has now become much less so with Georgia’s primary format: with 11 Republican and five Democratic candidates, it was all but assured no candidate would garner the required minimum vote to win outright. Democrats rallied early behind Jon Ossoff, consolidating their vote behind one candidate, but the same could not be said for the Republicans, who had even more candidates in the race. Now the two top vote getters, Ossoff (48.1%) and Republican Karen Handel (19.8%), will faceoff for the next two months trying to secure what will be seen nationally as either a victory for or rebuke of President Trump’s policies.

This race follows on the heels of an unusually close race in Kansas to replace Mike Pompeo who vacated the position to serve as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under President Trump. That seat was won by Republican State Treasurer Ron Estes. Upcoming special elections for open seats due to Administration appointments include Montana on May 25 and South Carolina on June 20 with primaries for the latter race to be held in May. PLASTICS continues to monitor these races for developments that could impact our priorities.