Democrats triumphed in one of Georgia’s tightest congressional races on Thursday after Republican Rep. Karen Handel conceded to anti-gun violence advocate Lucy McBath.
Handel, who won her suburban Atlanta seat last year in a special election, wrote on Facebook that she “came up a bit short” in Tuesday’s midterms.
“Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and I send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her,” Handel wrote.
McBath will come to Congress as part of the House’s new Democratic majority. Her victory marked the party’s 29th pickup in the lower chamber, with several races still undecided, according to a tally by The Washington Post.
McBath was a first-time congressional candidate who jumped into the race at the last minute, citing February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead. She became an activist after her 17-year-old son was fatally shot in 2012 by a man who had argued with the teen and his friends about loud music coming from their car.
Several political forecasters had moved the race in Georgia’s 6th congressional district from “leans Republicans” to “toss-up” over the weekend. The Associated Press reported that McBath got 50.5 percent of the vote to Handel’s 49.5 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Handel’s short-lived tenure in the House came after she beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in the 2017 special election to replace outgoing Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who left to become President Trump’s first secretary of health and human services.
The race drew national attention as an early referendum on Trump in a district Republicans had held since 1979.