Hours after the outcome became clear Tuesday night in the internationally-watched special U.S. House race in Georgia’s Sixth District, the national media was scrambling to find an explanation for the relatively easy win (53-to-47 percent) of Republican Karen Handel.
One lesson seems obvious from the suburban Atlanta district: Emphasizing a strong conservative agenda on both economic and cultural issues is crucial to rallying the Republican base. Former Georgia Secretary of State Handel did just that to defeat Democrat and former congressional staffer Jon Ossoff.
Handel, who had previously lost primary bids for governor and U.S. senator, signed the anti-tax pledge of Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). Ossoff refused to sign.
In addition, Handel vowed to repeal Obamacare and replace it with the American Health Care Act favored by President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ossoff ran as a backer of Obamacare.
But several sources in the Peach State who spoke to Newsmax agreed that the issue of Planned Parenthood and whether it should receive tax dollars played a pivotal role in Handel's win.
Where Ossoff supported Planned Parenthood funding and received an estimated $1 million from the controversial organization, Handel campaigned as an opponent of Planned Parenthood.
She also had a particular history with the controversial organization: In 2012, she resigned in protest as a vice president of the Susan G. Komen cancer foundation after it reversed a decision to end its grants to Planned Parenthood.
"Planned Parenthood was the principal issue," former Georgia Rep. John Linder, a past chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Newsmax, "She handled if deftly. Ossoff said that she stopped Susan G Komen contributions to Planned Parenthood for 'lifesaving breast cancer screening.' She responded that Planned Parenthood doesn't even own a mammogram."Linder added that "this fed into a theme that Ossoff has been lying since the beginning of the race. He didn’t have a 'top secret' clearance, as he claimed, Planned Parenthood doesn't do mammograms and he doesn't live 'just outside the district,' but quite a way out."