President Donald Trump's tweets and robocall helped get many Republicans out to the polls in Georgia's 6th Congressional District on Tuesday and helped them understand what was at stake, the GOP's winning candidate, Karen Handel, said Wednesday morning.
Moving forward to the runoffs this summer, she is confident in her own experience .
"I talked to most of the Republicans last night or this morning, so we all know what's at stake, and we understand that this district has a long legacy of Republican leadership from [HHS] Secretary Tom Price to Sen. Johnny Isakson, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, so we know what's at stake," Handel, a former Georgia Secretary of State, told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program.
"We will unite, and this seat will be held in the hand of a Republican come June 20."
Tuesday night, Democrat Jon Ossoff came in with 48.1 percent of the vote, just short of the 50 percent plus one he would have needed to avoid a runoff challenge. Ossoff, 30, a documentary filmmaker, is also a former congressional staffer.
In June, Ossoff will square off against Handel to replace Price in the House of Representatives in a district that has been held by a Republican since 1978, when Newt Gingrich was elected.
The race between the two is already showing signs of becoming heated, after Ossoff commented Tuesday night that "there is no amount of dark money, super PAC, negative advertising that can overcome real grassroots energy like this. So bring it on because we are courageous, we are humble and we know how to fight."
"That was ironic in his comments there," Handel said Wednesday. "Look, 95 percent of Jon's funds came from outside of the state of Georgia, the vast majority of it from California, New York, Massachusetts. He is not an individual from this district."
Handel said she is aligned with the district, and will put her years of experience up against Ossman's youth and inexperience.
"I am absolutely confident that as we go to the voters and show the contrast between this young, inexperienced individual compared to the track record and the public service and the results that I've given to this 6th district," she said. "I will prevail."
Further, Handel told the program that she and Ossoff have "very different values and very different life experiences."
"I have a track record, a proven track record of getting things done for the people of the 6th District as a former county commission chairman, as a former secretary of state," she said. "I have life experiences where I've had to overcome real adversity, and that helps you grow as a person and makes you stronger and resilient, and I am ready to take on this challenge and show the contrast between the two of us. I am absolutely confident that the people of the sixth district want a strong, independent-minded conservative as their next congressman."
Meanwhile, the Georgia race was widely seen as a referendum on Trump, but Handel said she believes that's because the mainstream media and Democrats wanted it that way.
"For the people of the 6th District, it has always been about who will be best served and who has the value to align with the 6th District to serve them most effectively in Congress as their next congressman," said Handel.
Trump called Handel Wednesday morning, and she said he was "beyond gracious and encouraging and I appreciated it so much."
"He specifically talked about strength under pressure, and I was grateful for that as well," said Handel. "As we come into June 20th over the next two months, we need every single Republican we can get, including the president, to be coalesced and united as we come into fighting with what's going to be, it will be a tough race."
She also expects that money will pour in from all around the country, but "Republicans, we're united and we're going to keep this seat."
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