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Paul Ryan to Campaign for Handel in Georgia House Race Monday

Runoff to fill former Rep. Tom Price’s seat draws national attention

Karen Handel, candidate for the Georgia 6th Congressional district, speaks with reporters during a campaign stop at Rhea's restaurant in Roswell, Ga., on Monday, April 17, 2017, one day before the special election to fill Tom Price's seat . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Karen Handel, candidate for the Georgia 6th Congressional district, speaks with reporters during a campaign stop at Rhea's restaurant in Roswell, Ga., on Monday, April 17, 2017, one day before the special election to fill Tom Price's seat . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul Ryan will hold a rally Monday with fellow Republican Karen Handel in Sandy Springs, Ga., in an effort to give her a boost ahead of the June runoff in the state’s 6th House District race.

A poll last week showed a tight race between Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff, with Handel holding a small lead for Handel. An internal poll from the Ossoff campaign shows a dead heat.

Not much polling has been conducted since the special election in April, when Ossoff narrowly missed winning the race outright over a split Republican field. Handel finished second with 20 percent to Ossoff’s 48 percent. The runoff is June 20.

An ad against Ossoff by a GOP super PAC attempted to portray him as a recipient of out-of-state money, aligned with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and more representative of San Francisco than the district. The ad was the first of a $6.5 million independent expenditure by the Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC endorsed by House GOP leadership. 

President Donald Trump announced his support for Handel at a National Rifle Association event in Atlanta after the special election, calling her an “incredible” Republican who is “totally for the NRA,” in contrast to Ossoff, who Trump said supports “open borders” and would “raise your taxes to the sky and destroy your health care.”

Trump attacked Ossoff with similar language in a robocall the morning of the election.

Handel fully embraced Trump after the first round of voting, a potentially risky move in a district that only narrowly supported him over Hillary Clinton in November.

The seat in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses part of Atlanta’s northern suburbs, came open when Rep. Tom Price resigned to be Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services.

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