The historic 2018 election that saw Democrat Lucy McBath take the 6th Congressional District seat from Republican Karen Handel in a “blue wave” is set for a rematch in November.

Handel declared victory as the Republican nominee for the seat in the June 9 primary, where she was leading four challengers with nearly 75 percent of the vote late on June 11, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

6th Congressional District candidates Karen Handel, left, and incumbent U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath.

The district includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs as well as other sections of north Fulton and Cobb counties. While its borders shifted over the years, district was solidly Republican for decades, held by such major figures as Newt Gingrich and Johnny Isakson.

The district went into turmoil in early 2017, when Republican incumbent Tom Price was named to President Trump’s Cabinet as U.S. secretary of health and human services. Price lasted only eight months in that job, essentially forced to resign amid scandal over his use of taxpayer-funded charter and military flights rather than commercial airlines.

Meanwhile, a huge political battle erupted over the right to replace him in Congress in a special election. In the end, Handel scored a narrow victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff in what was said to be the most expensive Congressional race of all time.

Handel was forced to defend the seat almost immediately in a general election and was narrowly defeated by McBath in 2018 as Democratic candidates removed or replaced many Republicans in state legislative offices as well.

Ossoff is back in politics as well, and on June 9 became the Democratic nominee to challenge Republican incumbent David Perdue for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.