A Republican official in Georgia believes his party will win Tuesday’s special election in the state’s 6th Congressional District thanks to last week’s attack on GOP congressmen at a baseball practice in Northern Virginia.
“I’ll tell you what: I think the shooting is going to win this election for us,” Brad Carver, the party chairman in Georgia’s 11th congressional district, said Saturday, according to The Washington Post.
Speaking after a get-out-the-vote rally for GOP candidate Karen Handel, Carver suggested that the shooting, carried out by a former volunteer for the Democratic presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was the latest sign of “left-wing extremism.”
“[M]oderates and independents in this district are tired of left-wing extremism. I get that there’s extremists on both sides, but we are not seeing them,” said Carver. “We’re seeing absolute resistance to everything [President Donald Trump] does. Moderates and independents out there want to give him a chance. Democrats have never given this president a chance.”
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was still in the hospital Monday after being struck in the hip during Wednesday’s shooting. He was recently upgraded from critical to serious condition and is expected to face a lengthy recovery. Four other people were also injured in the attack; the gunman was shot and killed by police.
Voters in Georgia head to the polls on Tuesday to decide a heated special election for the congressional seat Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price gave up to serve in Trump’s cabinet. Republicans ― including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ― have represented the district since the late 1970s. But Democrats have staked their hopes on Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old, first-time candidate who fell just short of winning the election outright in April balloting featuring 18 candidates. Handel, 55, is a veteran politician who previously served as Georgia’s secretary of state.
A poll taken last week after the shooting showed Ossoff leading by less than two percentage points. Early voting has been heavy in the race, which both parties see as a potential barometer of discontent with Trump.
A special election also is being held Tuesday in South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District for the seat Republican Mick Mulvaney vacated to become director of the Office of Management and Budget under Trump.
GOP candidate Ralph Norman, a businessman, similarly has predicted that last week’s shooting could boost his chances at the polls in the district that tilts Republican anyway. He faces Democrat Archie Parnell, who recently released a campaign video that parodies Netflix’s “House of Cards” series.