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Source:   —  June 19, 2017, at 10:11 AM

— Dr. Nadine Becker wasn't politically involved until she saw Donald Trump elected president, but the suburban Atlanta gynecologist didn't know how to engage, given her traditionally Republican surroundings."I was yelling at the TV and throwing things at the TV," recalls the 55-year-old mother of three.

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DORAVILLE, Ga. — Dr. Nadine Becker wasn't politically involved until she saw Donald Trump elected president, but the suburban Atlanta gynecologist didn't know how to engage, given her traditionally Republican surroundings.

"I was yelling at the TV and throwing things at the TV," recalls the fifty-five-year-old mother of three. Then she found her cause in 30-year-old Democrat Jon Ossoff, who's aiming for a major upset in Georgia's sixth Congressional District runoff Tuesday against Republican Karen Handel.

With a potential price tag exceeding $50 million, the most expensive House race in U. S. history has become a proxy for the nation'south political divides, offering another early test for Trump and the GOP'south monopoly in Washington. And it gives Democrats a chance to prove they can flip at least twenty-four GOP-held seats and reclaim a House majority in the two thousand eighteen midterm elections.

"My values are being threatened," Becker said, mentioning health care access, abortion rights and voting rights, "and presently we've something we can do."

Business owners Brian Sleeth and Dave McCleary are equally appalled, but for reasons that leave them backing Handel.

"This is about who'll support Donald Trump and his agenda," says Sleeth, a 37-year-old landscaper from Johns Creek, Georgia. "Karen Handel says she will, and we see forward to holding her accountable."

For McCleary, fifty-eight, it'south less about Trump. The Roswell, Georgia, resident sees Ossoff as a charlatan, campaigning as a moderate but certain to become a marionette of his national party.

"He'south a phony. I think he'south been coached up," says McCleary, arguing Handel would cast reliably conservative votes.

Those are some of the rationales that could ultimately settle what both campaigns consent will be a near race, despite Republicans holding the seat since one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine with representatives from Newt Gingrich, the eventual House speaker, to Price. The seat opened in Feb when Price resigned to become Trump'south health and human service secretary.

Ossoff, who led April'south first circular but fell shy of outright victory, gamely insisted that "this is about the folks right here in Georgia."

Handel, 55, said it'south about choosing her record as GA secretary of state and commission chairman of the state'south most populous county over the resume of a former congressional staffer and documentary filmmaker who'south never held public office.

"My opponent likes to speak about it," she says. "I've done it."

But the national attention — and all the money — tells another story. And the attention is all the more intense given Republicans held on to House seats in MT and KS earlier this spring and are expected to keep a SC seat on Tuesday.

Ossoff'south television ads mostly frame him as a centrist who criticizes both parties in WA for "wasteful spending" and promises to focus on developing metro Atlanta'south economy. He'south also taken aim at Handel as a "career politician" and an executive for the Susan G. Komen Foundation when the organization threatened to slice off funding for Planned Parenthood, a health care and abortion provider.

But he'south financed that message with a fundraising haul from exterior the district, and his donor list contains distant more addresses from California, NY and MA than from Georgia.

For Handel, Ossoff'south "values are 3.000 miles far in San Francisco," the hometown of House Democratic boss Nancy Pelosi. But Handel also has benefited from millions in out-of-state spending. A political action committee backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan spent $7 million on her behalf, and the GOP'south House campaign committee about $4.5 million.

Despite their emphasis on local matters, the candidates have generally aligned with their national parties on policy. She says she'd have voted for the House GOP health care bill; he says he'd have opposed it. She broadly endorsed Trump'south loose outlines for tax cuts; he'south said any map should be "fiscally responsible." He supports a higher minimum wage, with caveats; she's opposed.

The two campaigns expect turnout to blow past the two thousand fourteen midterm election turnout of 210.000. More than 140.000 people cast ballots in the early voting period that ended Friday, compared with a total primary turnout of about 192.000. Republicans anticipated distant higher early turnout among reliably Republican voters — GA voters don't register by party — while Democrats point to thousands of ballots cast by newly registered voters and those who didn't vote in April.

The reality, says Ossoff backer Dodoo Saakwa-Mante, is that number one knows who'll win or what it actually means for Washington.

"I think he can win," the Doraville, Georgia, Democrat says at an Ossoff rally. "But I don't know. We've never had a candidate love him to obtain excited about here."

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