Republican: Congressional shooting will win us Georgia election

Republican candidate Karen Handel and Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff appear in a special election debate.Image copyright

Image caption

Republican Karen Handel and Democratic Jon Ossoff face off in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District

A Georgia Republican official has said the shooting at a Virginia baseball field will lead to the party’s victory in a state special election.

Brad Carver told the Washington Post voters “tired of left-wing extremism” will pick Republican Karen Handel.

Democrat Jon Ossoff and Ms Handel are running for a House seat vacated by US health secretary Tom Price.

Five people were injured last week when a gunman opened fire at a Republican baseball practice.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was among those hurt and remains in a critical condition.

The suspect, identified as James T Hodgkinson, allegedly opened fire on Republican lawmakers as they practised for an annual congressional charity baseball game.

It emerged that Mr Hodgkinson, who died of his injuries following a gunfight with police, was a volunteer for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and promoted anti-Republican rhetoric on social media.

Mr Carver, the Republican Party chairman in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District, told the Post “the shooting is going to win this election for us”.

He went on: “Moderates 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.”

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Media captionCongressional baseball game goes on day after shooting

The much-anticipated election in the Atlanta suburban district between Ms Handel and Mr Ossoff is seen as a test of President Donald Trump popularity.

The showdown is also considered the most expensive US House of Representatives race in the nation’s history.

Mr Carver praised Mr Ossoff for running a “brilliant campaign”, but contended the baseball shooting would tip the outcome in Republican favour.

“We’re seeing absolute resistance to everything this president does,” he added.

“Moderates and independents out there want to give him a chance. Democrats have never given this president a chance.”

His comments came as a Republican group released an advertisement attempting to link the congressional shooting to Mr Ossoff’s Democratic campaign.

The television spot, produced by the Principled PAC, showed an image of Mr Scalise on a stretcher after the attack.

“The unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans,” a narrator is heard saying in the ad.

“When will it stop? It won’t if Jon Ossoff wins on Tuesday.”

The ad, which includes an image of US comedian Kathy Griffin holding a fake severed head that looks like Mr Trump, claims “these same leftists are all for Ossoff, and he wins, they win”.

Both Mr Ossoff and a spokeswoman for Ms Handel condemned the spot, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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