Karen Handel, the Republican candidate in the runoff to fill an open U.S. House seat in Georgia, on Wednesday praised President Donald Trump for firing James Comey as the director of the FBI.
“It’s been clear for some time that FBI Director Comey has lost the confidence of Republicans, Democrats and broader institutions, and his removal as FBI Director was probably overdue,” Handel said in a statement. “I hope that the President will quickly nominate a strong, independent leader as the next Director of the FBI and that the Senate will consider the nomination as quickly as possible.”
Her opponent in the race, Democrat Jon Ossoff, on Tuesday night called for a special prosecutor to investigate potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in light of Comey’s firing.
Comey’s firing raises severe questions. There should be bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference.
— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) May 10, 2017
Before securing a spot in the runoff, Handel was reluctant to embrace Trump, barely mentioning the President on the campaign trail. But since the initial jungle primary in April, Handel has taken a slightly different tack, beginning with her comments welcoming Trump to campaign with her.
Handel and Ossoff will face off on June 20 for the House seat representing Georgia’s historically ruby-red Sixth Congressional District, and as one of the first hotly contested House races since the 2016 election, political observers view it as a referendum on Trump’s young presidency. Democrats are optimistic about winning the race because Trump only won the district by one point in November.