Lucy McBath declares victory in Georgia’s 6th district; Handel does not concede

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ATLANTA — It remained unclear early Wednesday who would emerge victorious in Georgia’s 6th congressional district.

The 2018 race between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Lucy McBath never reached the levels of interest of the 2017 contest, but the results were even closer.

As of 8:30 a.m Wednesday, McBath has 159,268 votes with a slight lead. The Secretary of State’s Office shows Handel will 156,396 votes.

McBath declared victory Wednesday afternoon even though all of the votes have not been counted.

In an emailed statement, McBath said the race has been hard.

“After a hard fought race, I am honored to announce that the people of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District have put their trust in my vision for the future of our district and nation. The voters responded to my commitment to put aside partisan fights for the good of the American people,” the statement read in part.

She said finding people-based solutions to gun violence will be a top priority for her.

“I look forward to representing the people of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, and I pledge to work hard fighting for every single person and family in this district,” the statement ended.

If McBath wins, this would strengthen the democrats lead in the U.S. House.

Handel has not conceded the race.

It was just June when Republican Karen Handel was elected to represent the district. She defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election to replace Tom Price, who left office to serve as President Donald Trump’s secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Price served only a few months in the position before resigning in September 2017.

Georgia election results: Click here

The Handel-Ossoff contest drew the nation’s attention and became most expensive congressional election in U.S. history.

Now, less than 18 months later, Handel is defending her congressional seat against Democrat Lucia McBath.

McBath won a Democrat runoff against Kevin Abel back in July. She is the mother of Jordan Davis, who was shot and killed in 2012 at a Jacksonville, Fla. gas station by a man who objected to the loud music Jordan was playing in his car.

In a case drew national attention, the gunman, Michael Dunn, used Florida’s stand-your-ground law as his defense. He was not found guilty of murder in his first trial. In an October 2014 retrial, Dunn was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

After her son’s death, McBath, who worked for Delta Airlines for 30 years, turned to politics. As national spokesperson for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, she urged lawmakers to enact “common sense gun violence prevention laws.”

MORE GEORGIA ELECTION INFO: What are the Georgia amendments on the 2018 ballot?

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