ALPHARETTA, Ga – The husband of Karen Handel, who is hoping to become Georgia’s next congressperson, made a controversial, and now deleted, tweet, urging voters to “free the black slaves from the Democratic plantation.”

"Criticizing black kids for obeying the law, studying in school, and being ambitious as 'acting white' is a trick Democrats play on Black people to keep them poor, ignorant, and dependent," the image reads.

"Handel will fight for minorities to excel," according to the image.

“Like many of us, he (Steve) made a mistake and retweeted something he didn't pay a lot of attention to, thinking it was just an absentee voting message,” Handel’s campaign said in a statement. “It clearly was not appropriate and has been deleted.”

Handel, who released a new digital campaign ad on Tuesday, is in a runoff to replace Tom Price, now President Donald Trump’s secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in metro Atlanta’s 6th congressional district.

Handel finished second in a special, April 18, election, behind Democrat Jon Ossoff, who finished with 48 percent of the vote, just short of the plus-50-percent margin he would have needed to win the contest outright.

Follow 11Alive's extensive 6th district election coverage here.

The runoff, set for June 20, continues to bring national attention and donors to the race, expected to become the most expensive congressional campaign in history. Democrats see an opportunity to flip a district that has been in GOP hands since 1978.