Republicans fend off Democrats in Georgia and S. Carolina | News | DW | 21.06.2017
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Republicans fend off Democrats in Georgia and S. Carolina

Republicans have secured two seats in congressional races dubbed a referendum on US President Donald Trump. But Democrats have vowed to continue fighting for their communities, setting their sights on the 2018 elections.

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Republicans win costly Georgia race

Republican candidate Karen Handel on Tuesday secured a seat in the House of Representatives, marking an important victory for US President Donald Trump's party.

Handel garnered 52.6 percent of the vote compared to Democrat Jon Ossoff, who managed to secure 47.4 percent in an election dubbed the most expensive congressional race in US history.

While Democrats attempted to position the electoral race in Georgia as a referendum on Trump, Republicans doubled-down on their ties to the White House.

Read more: 'Treat Donald Trump like a normal politician who is wrong about everything'

Vice President Mike Pence attended a fundraiser on her behalf, while Trump wrote tweets in support of her candidacy. Trump congratulated for Handel a "fantastic job" in the electoral process, saying: "We are all very proud of you."

Republicans have defended the seat representing suburban Atlanta since 1979. But while Handel managed to secure the conservative party's grasp in the southern state, Ossoff vowed to continue fighting for the local community and their interests.

Ossoff's supporters continued to cheer the young democrat even during his concession speech

Ossoff's supporters continued to cheer the young Democrat even during his concession speech

From victory to victory

Meanwhile, Republican Ralph Norman won a special legislative election in South Carolina against Democrat Archie Parnell in a race that ended closer than many analysts had expected.

Read more: The conservative Republicans who killed Trump's healthcare bill

Norma garnered 51 percent of the votes while Parnell secured 48 percent in the traditionally Republican state. The former state lawmaker also ran a campaign aligning himself with Trump.

Republicans have managed to defend four congressional seats vacated by lawmakers appointed to the Trump administration. Democrats are now looking ahead to the 2018 congressional elections in which they need to gain 24 seats to reclaim the lower house.

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ls/rc (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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