Special Election

Meet the Man Behind the Ossoff Campaign — He’s Just Getting Started
Keenan Pontoni’s a rising star in a party desperate for fresh blood

Keenan Pontoni, campaign manager for Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th District, conducts one final tele-town hall session in his Sandy Springs office on the final day of the runoff campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Just 45 minutes after polls closed Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th District, Keenan Pontoni knew Jon Ossoff was in trouble.

The Democratic candidate’s advantage in early voting didn’t look like it was going to be enough to make up for Republican turnout on Election Day.

United Utah Party Sues to Get on Ballot to Replace Chaffetz
Party is led by Jim Bennett, son of late Sen. Bob Bennett.

Jim Bennett could have appeared on the ballot as unaffiliated, but he said, “I’m not unfailliated and I don’t want to run and pretend that I am.” (United Utah Party)

Jim Bennett, the son of former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, has a new political party, and he wants it on the ballot in the Utah special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Bennett is suing the state of Utah to get on the ballot with United Utah Party next to his name, after state officials ruled in May that there wouldn't be time to verify the 2,600 signatures gathered to create the new party before the election.

Pelosi Blows Off Calls to Step Down
‘It's not up to them,’ she says of Democrats calling for new leadership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls on Thursday for her to step down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Describing herself as “worth the trouble,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday blew off calls from some chamber Democrats for her to step down from leadership in the wake of special election losses this year and a failure to win a House majority in four straight national elections. 

“It’s not up to them,” the California Democrat said of members calling for her to let someone else give it a try, before calling herself a “master legislator.”

Trump Says He Hopes Dems Don’t Force Pelosi Out
‘That would be very bad for the Republican Party,’ president tweets

President Donald Trump wants Nancy Pelosi to stay on as House Democratic leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he hopes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stays as leader of the Democrats.

But the presidential tweet was not well-wishing. Rather, Trump said, “That would be very bad for the Republican Party” if Pelosi were forced out.

Will Georgia’s 6th District Do This All Again in 2018?
Closely watched district likely won’t be as competitive next year

Republican Karen Handel, seen here the day before the election, won the closely watched special election in Georgia’s 6th District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Despite initial relief among Georgia’s 6th District residents that the barrage of campaign ads has come to an end, the reprieve might not last too long.

“Now we know what New Hampshire looks like,” said Chip Lake, a GOP consultant based in Georgia.

Ros-Lehtinen on Retirement: ‘I’ve Got No Complaints’
Florida Republican comments on Congress after softball game

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., says she goes to sleep happy and wakes up happy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s next to last Congressional Women’s Softball Game was bittersweet for the Florida Republican.

“Well, one more year to go and I’m going to miss it a lot,” she said after the members lost 2-1 to the media team.

Podcast: What We Learned from 2017’s Special Elections
The Big Story, Episode 58

Campaign workers decorate the ballroom with balloons for Jon Ossoff's election night watch party in Atlanta, Ga., on special election day, Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On the Ground in the 6th: Scenes from Georgia’s Election Night
 

Republicans Are 4-0 Defending Seats, but Could Still Be in Trouble
In each of the contested special elections, Democrats performed better than they had in years

Karen Handel gives her victory speech Tuesday night in Georgia after winning the 6th District special election. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Wednesday was a day for Republicans to rest easy. After winning the Georgia and South Carolina special elections Tuesday, the party avoided losing any congressional seats vacated by members who entered President Donald Trump’s administration.

But it’s not all good news for the GOP (or bad news for Democrats). In each of the four races where Republicans were defending seats — Kansas’ 4th, Montana’s at large seat, South Carolina’s 5th and Georgia’s 6th — Democrats did better than they had in any of those districts’ congressional elections since at least 2010.

Trump Mocks Democrats After Election Losses
‘Obstruction Doesn't Work,’ president says after Republican wins in Georgia, South Carolina

Supporters of Democrat Jon Ossoff get the news Tuesday night at his campaign headquarters that the Georgia 6th District special election is called for his GOP rival Karen Handel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats should learn from their latest two House race defeats and work with Republicans to pass health care and tax overhaul legislation, a celebratory President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

Republicans were victorious Tuesday in special elections in Georgia and South Carolina, with voters sending Karen Handel and Ralph Norman to the House of Representatives. By doing so, Georgians and South Carolinians handed Trump personal victories — and the president responded by declaring himself undefeated in congressional races since taking office.