The Latest: White House Paints Handel Win as Trump Triumph

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on reactions to Tuesday’s congressional election in Georgia (all times EDT):


10:50 p.m.

The White House is suggesting that a Republican win in Georgia’s special House election on Tuesday was a personal victory for President Donald Trump.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told reporters aboard Air Force One that Karen Handel’s win serves as proof that “the American people are resonating with the president’s agenda” and want to see his agenda enacted.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is echoing that message. He says the vote shows people want Congress to move forward with Trump’s plans.

The president traveled to Iowa for an evening campaign-style rally at Kirkwood Community College. He returned to Washington late Wednesday.

The Georgia race was seen by many as an early referendum on Trump.


4:45 p.m.

The House Democratic leader is seeking to reassure Democrats dejected after a loss in a Georgia special election where the party invested millions of dollars.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California says in a letter to colleagues Wednesday that when President Donald Trump nominated House members to serve in his administration, he chose them from Republican districts the party knew it could win.

She says Democrats “gave them a run for their money in all of them.”

Pelosi insists Democrats still have a shot at winning the majority in next year’s midterm elections, saying, “The House remains in play now.”

Democrats came close but still lost in special elections in Kansas, Montana, Georgia and South Carolina.

Pelosi says the Democratic base is energized, adding, “We must now put forth our message.”


2:15 p.m.

Democratic Party divisions are on stark display after a disappointing special election loss in a hard-fought Georgia congressional race.

House Democratic leaders are taking some comfort in coming in a close second for a seat that’s long been firmly in GOP hands. They argue it shows their chances are good of retaking control of the House in next year’s midterm elections.

But members of the rank-and-file are dissatisfied with that rationalization — and some are arguing for a new message and approach ahead of the midterms.

Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey says, “A loss is a loss is a loss, and there’s no excuses.”

The loss also renewed the focus on Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who was demonized by the GOP side in the Georgia race.

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