Republican Karen Handel spoke to a packed room full of supporters and thanked President Donald Trump and Rep. Steve Scalise for helping her to a historic victory.
Handel had just defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election for the vacant House seat in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District to become the first woman ever to represent the state in Congress. She thanked national figures for lending her their support, including Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence in her victory speech.
The crowd roared with loud chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump,” as Handel thanked him.
She also took a moment to thank Scalise, who was seriously injured along with two others after getting shot at a baseball diamond last week in Alexandria, Virginia.
“Right up until that tragic day on the ball field, Steve would drop me a text every week,” she said. “What happened on that ball field was a terrible tragedy and we need to all continue to lift up Steve and the other two who were injured that day, and we need to also lift up this nation so that we can find a more civil way to deal with our disagreements.
“Because in these United States of America, nobody should ever feel their life is threatened over their political beliefs and their positions, and I say that to those on both sides of the political aisle.”
Handel outperformed many polls in the congressional race, which showed Ossoff with a slight edge ever since the first round of voting over two months ago.
“On April 18, I told people it was going to be a very tight race and it was going to require all hands on deck, and that’s exactly what we had,” a triumphant Handel said.
Ryan issued a statement after the projections started rolling in, wishing her congratulations for her victory.