The Latest: Gun-control Democrat McBath beats US Rep. Handel
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on Georgia’s pending congressional races (all times local):
Democratic gun-control activist Lucy McBath has defeated Republican Rep. Karen Handel of Georgia in a suburban congressional district long considered safe for the GOP.
Handel had to seek re-election after winning her seat last year in a close special election race against Democrat Jon Ossoff.
McBath became an advocate for stricter gun laws after her son, Jordan Davis, was fatally shot at a Florida gas station in 2012 by a man angry over loud music the teenager and his friends were playing in a car.
McBath’s margin of victory was narrow enough for Handel to have requested a recount. The Associated Press declared McBath the winner Thursday after Handel conceded.
Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel has conceded to her Democratic rival in a hard-fought Congressional race in Georgia.
Handel says in a statement Thursday morning that after reviewing all of the election data, it’s clear she “came up a bit short” in Tuesday’s vote.
Handel congratulated Democrat Lucy McBath, offering “good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.”
McBath, who is African-American, became a gun control activist after her son was killed in a shooting. She declared victory Wednesday.
One Republican holds the congressional seat of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The other is a four-term GOP congressman accustomed to winning by wide margins.
Now Reps. Karen Handel and Rob Woodall of Georgia are both at risk of losing re-election in suburban Atlanta districts long considered safe for Republicans.
Handel’s Democratic challenger, Lucy McBath, declared victory in their contest Wednesday. But unofficial returns showed the vote margins separating the incumbent Republicans and their rivals hovering near the 1 percent threshold that could trigger a recount.
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in either race. Absentee ballots were still being counted Wednesday and provisional ballots remained untallied across the state. The Georgia secretary of state’s office said it would certify the official vote within the next week.
The contests will determine if Democrats add to their majority after winning control of the U.S. House in the Tuesday midterm elections.