Tight finish seen in Atlanta congressional race, Trump weighs in

Andrew Cummings
June 23, 2017

Many Democrats are calling for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to step down from her party leadership role after a bruising - and expensive - House race loss in Georgia's 6th district. After a bit of crowing about the failure of "fake news" fueled, big spending candidates and a shout-out to Fox News, President Donald Trump offered up this: "Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on Healthcare, Tax Cuts, Security".

The Democratic Party boosted 30-year-old political newcomer Jon Ossoff with a campaign war chest of more than $40 million and a team of Democratic strategists to take on Republican Karen Handel in a dthe suburban Atlanta district.

Rep. Tim Ryan of OH who unsuccessfully opposed Pelosi for House minority leader said she was a political drag on other Dems.

Just hours before the news conference, moderate Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice of NY reiterated her call that it was time for Pelosi to step aside.

Ryan last November challenged Pelosi for her leadership position and despite being handily defeated is still considered a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Pelosi chastised some of her fellow Democrats for echoing Republican talking points while criticizing her.

Trump said he hoped Pelosi and "Cryin' Chuck stay", referring to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. "My leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I'm able to attract the support I do". "I am a strategic, politically astute leader", Pelosi said at a press conference on Thursday. "I thrive on competition", she said.

Ryan described Ossoff as a "great" candidate who simply "couldn't carry the national baggage of the Democratic Party", The Hill reported.

In this week's Georgia and SC special elections, Republicans ran ads that targeted Pelosi.

"I think the hype before the election that we had to win this was wrong", said Rep.

And she played down the significance of the Georgia race, pointing out how Ossoff reduced a 25-point Republican win in 2016 to a four-point win. Do Democrats need a compelling economic message? Yes.

And after she predicted incorrectly that Democrats were poised to take back the House past year, some of Pelosi's colleagues feel that this time around, she needs to deliver.

But after Donald Trump took office and Republicans dove into their agenda of repealing former President Barack Obama's health care law, Democrats' united opposition papered over their divisions and their generational divides. "Ossoff will vote with Pelosi", some of those ads said. "If we don't, then I think it's incumbent upon her and all of us to reassess who our leadership should be".

Her win marked an impressive rebound from polling that showed her narrowly trailing her rival as the vote approached, and signalled that Republican disillusionment about Mr. Trump was not as deep as Democrats were counting on.

To the editor: It should come as little surprise that a mostly affluent Republican district in Georgia did not turn blue.

In fact Pelosi, 77, has emerged as a favorite GOP bogeyman and was the target of a barrage of negative advertising in the Georgia House race, mocking her as a San Francisco liberal and tying her to Ossoff.

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