Karen Handel, Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, talks with diners during a campaign stop at Old Hickory House in Tucker, Ga., Monday, June 19, 2017. Handel received a threatening package in the mail following a shooting at a congressional baseball practice. (Photo: David Goldman, AP)
Last week’s shooting at Republican lawmakers on a baseball field is playing a major role in the Georgia special election set to take place Tuesday.
The GOP chair of a nearby congressional district had to retract his comments Monday after he said that the shooting would lead to a victory for Republicans in the election between Karen Handel, the GOP former secretary of state in Georgia and Jon Ossoff, a Democrat and former congressional aide in the district.
“I’ll tell you what: I think the shooting is going to win this election for us,” Brad Carver told The Washington Post. Carver is the GOP chairman of the nearby 11th district of Georgia.
Carver continued: “Moderates and independents in this district are tired of left-wing extremism. I get that there’s extremists on both sides, but we are not seeing them. We’re seeing absolute resistance to everything this president does. Moderates and independents out there want to give him a chance. Democrats have never given this president a chance.”
But after his comments created a stir, Carver later apologized for his remarks: “Politics, human tragedy, and violence don’t mix. I should not have said what I said. I apologize for my remarks.”
Last week, a man opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va. Five people were injured, including Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.. The shooter was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and had been critical of Handel on social media.
“Moderates and independents in this district are tired of left-wing extremism. I get that there’s extremists on both sides, but we are not seeing them,” Carver continued. “We’re seeing absolute resistance to everything this president does. Moderates and independents out there want to give him a chance. Democrats have never given this president a chance.”
The day after the shooting, Handel, her neighbors and some local TV stations received a letter that contained “white powder and very threatening language about myself and, I believe, even the president.”
“That is unacceptable. I don’t care what political party you are. It is unacceptable for anyone to be threatened, to have their life or their livelihood over their political beliefs,” Handel told USA TODAY at a campaign event in Marietta, Ga., Friday. “It was clearly an attempt to intimidate to scare me and now I’m just mad that whoever this person is, that they had the audacity to bring in my friends and neighbors.”
Ossoff said he had also been receiving threats, “some of which have intensified in recent days.”
“It speaks to the needs for us to redouble our commitment to national unity, civility, rule of law — even where we have differences of opinion,” Ossoff told USA TODAY the day after the shooting, adding that the whole country was “shaken” by the shooting.
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2tlz8yw