President Trump made a Thursday fundraising pitch for Georgia GOP House candidate Karen Handel, as both parties pull out all the stops for a much-watched June runoff.
Handel will face Democrat Jon Ossoff in a runoff on June 20, after he fell slightly below the 50 percent threshold on Tuesday to avoid a runoff election for Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's seat.
The nationally watched special election has already drawn millions of dollars, and Handel and Ossoff have hit the ground running since Tuesday’s primary with more high-dollar fundraising and attack ads.
“Now that we have a Republican nominee, Democrats will stop at nothing to tear down Karen Handel in Georgia,” Trump wrote in a fundraising email to supporters. “We must unite and fight back, Fellow Conservative.”
“Please, make an emergency contribution RIGHT NOW to support Karen Handel in the Georgia special election.”
Following Tuesday’s results, Trump tweeted that it was a “big” win for Republicans and took partial credit for the outcome. He also called Handel by phone to congratulate her on making the runoff.
"Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidate, BIG 'R' win with runoff in Georgia," Trump tweeted late Tuesday. "Glad to be of help!"
The next day, he tweeted again, touting Handel and framing the race as “Hollywood vs. Georgia,” which was a jab at Ossoff’s campaign donations from celebrities and out-of-state donors.
While Ossoff dominated the 18-candidate field on Tuesday, he will face much steeper odds in the June runoff now that Handel has the field to herself and Republicans are quickly coalescing behind her.
Handel, a former Georgia secretary of State, has made several statewide bids including two failed campaigns for governor and Senate. She also drew attention for a high-profile resignation from Susan G. Komen over Planned Parenthood funding.