April 19 (UPI) -- Georgia's special election to replace former House Rep. Tom Price is headed for a runoff after Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly missed winning a majority of votes.
Ossoff had the strongest showing Tuesday in a hotly contested race that some saw as a gauge of President Donald Trump's popularity. The 30-year-old investigative filmmaker led the field of 18 candidates with 48.3 percent of the vote in Georgia's 6th District, held for decades by Republicans.
CNN called the race just after midnight.
Ossoff will face Karen Handel, the top Republican vote-getter with 19.7 percent, in the June 20 runoff. Price, now the president's Health and Human Services secretary, was re-elected with nearly 62 percent of the vote in 2016.
While Ossoff declared "a victory for the ages," President Trump claimed a win for Republicans, who combined to win 50.5 percent of the votes. That vote is expected to be consolidated behind Handel in the runoff.
Despite major outside money, FAKE media support & eleven Republican candidates, BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help! -DJT— President Trump (@POTUS) April 19, 2017
The president understood the stakes of the second congressional vote since his administration took office, a week after Kansas' 4th District narrowly replaced CIA Director Mike Pompeo with another Republican.
On Monday, Trump recorded a robocall encouraging Georgians to vote against the 30-year-old Democrat, saying he will "raise your taxes, destroy your healthcare, and flood our country with illegal immigrants."
Doug G. Ware contributed to this report.