Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff received the most votes in Tuesday night's special election to fill a vacant House seat in Georgia that is historically controlled by Republicans.
Ossoff, 30, was the top vote getter in a field of 18 candidates, 11 of them Republicans, in a suburban Atlanta district that has sent Republicans to Congress since the 1970s. If Ossoff had won at least 50%, he would have secured the seat outright.
Part of what is fueling Democratic excitement about the race is that while Trump won Georgia by six percentage points, the district that Ossoff seeks to win supported Trump by barely one point over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Another congressional battle will play out late next month in conservative-leaning Montana, where voters will pick a replacement for Republican Ryan Zinke, who has become Trump's United States interior secretary.
Even though the Georgia 6th is wealthier and better-educated than most congressional districts, a win here could provide Democrats with a blueprint to take control of Congress in 2018's mid-term elections.
In what was touted by the media as a possible rebuke to the Trump presidency and a foreshadowing of a tough midterm election, the Georgia sixth congressional district election instead disappointed Democrats and allowed President Trump to declare victory Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Trump claimed victory, calling it a "BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia" on Twitter and citing his own contributions. And Trump let the world know he played a role - via a robocall and tweets - writing this: "Glad to be of help!"More news: Astronomers Find Habitable Zone in Saturn's Moon
"We need to see a balance in our country, a check on President Trump", said Vicki Hardin Woods, a retiree who traveled from Salem Oregon, to volunteer for the campaign.
Trump repeatedly criticized Ossoff's record before Tuesday's vote, casting a runoff there as a victory for Republicans.
But Perez on Wednesday said Trump was celebrating too early, and the prevailing breezes still blew in Ossoff's direction for the June contest. Or just a minor setback for Republicans, who can still hold the seat in the June runoff?
Ossoff was backed by major Democratic PACs and raised $8.3 million this quarter, mostly from outside groups.
The district, which since 1978 has been represented by Republicans Newt Gingrich, Johnny Isakson and Tom Price, has widely been considered a conservative stronghold.
Ossoff said on CNN that Trump was misinformed about his positions and that he was focused on issues affecting the northern Atlanta suburbs, not Washington.