(CNSNews.com) - Democrat Jon Ossoff, the 30-year-old U.S. congressional candidate who couldn’t even vote for himself on Tuesday, was the top vote-getter in Georgia’s special election, by far.
But since none of the 18 candidates received at least 50 percent of the vote, Ossoff will face the top Republican vote-getter, Karen Handel, in a June 20 run-off election.
Ossoff, who does not live in the congressional district he wants to represent – and therefore could not vote for himself -- received 92,390 votes, or 48.1 percent.
Handel, the leading Republican, received 37,993 votes, or 19.8 percent.
However, the 11 Republicans, added together, received 4,026 more votes than the five Democrats vying to replace Rep. Tom Price, who is now President Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary.
A total of 97,937 votes were cast for the 11 Republicans in the race, compared with 93,911 for the five Democrat candidates (and a mere 176 votes for the two independent candidates).
Nevertheless, Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and political newcomer, told his supporters Tuesday night, “There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages.”
Speaking before all the votes were counted, Ossoff said he has "shattered expectations," and will be ready to "fight on and win in June, if it is necessary," which it is.
“And there is no amount of dark money, super-PAC negative advertising that can overcome real grassroots energy like this,” said the man who raised more than $8 million, much of it from anti-Trump activists from out of state, press reports said.
“So bring it on," Ossoff said. “Because we are courageous, we are humble, and we know how to fight.”
In a midnight tweet, President Donald Trump called the election results a “BIG ‘R’” win.
“Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help!” said the president who taped a robocall for the Republican Party and issued several tweets criticizing Ossoff.
Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, and a former gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidate, said the race for Georgia’s open congressional seat begins anew today.
“The eyes of the nation will be watching,” she said Tuesday night. “We cannot let an untested, unproven, inexperienced ally of Nancy Pelosi steal the seat that has been held by the great leaders like Tom Price, Johnny Isaccson and Newt Gingrich.”
The Democrat Party, which cast the special election as a national referendum on the Trump presidency, also weighed in:
"Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan can’t be feeling great right now,” Democrat National Committee Chair Tom Perez said in a statement Tuesday night.
In a district that Tom Price won by 23 points just last November, tonight was an early round victory for Democrats because of the hard work of Jon Ossoff and a groundswell of grassroots volunteers who organized, knocked on doors, and made phone calls to put Jon in a strong position to win in June. Donald Trump and his billionaire, special-interest friends – which outspent us by nearly 2-to-1 on the air – thought that Democrats would be lucky to get 40% of the vote. Tonight’s results are further proof that the grassroots energy we’re seeing across the country can translate to electoral progress in every zip code.
"We’re not even 100 days into Donald Trump’s administration, but the voters of Georgia’s 6thdistrict are already fed up with Republican leadership. Georgia voters want a bold vision of inclusion and economic opportunity for every Georgia family, so Jon Ossoff is in a strong position to become the first Democrat to represent the Georgia 6thin nearly 40 years. And while Republicans have their backs against the wall, Democrats will keep their foot on the gas through Election Day because the residents of Georgia’s 6th district deserve a representative who will fight for them. That is Jon Ossoff.