Politics

Democratic Congressional Candidate Exceeds Expectations

| by Ray Brown

Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff didn't win yet, but he exceeded expectations in a hotly contested primary for a Georgia congressional seat that has been Republican since 1979; he will now compete in a runoff election.

Ossoff received 48.1 percent of the vote in Georgia's 6th district, an affluent Republican area. Ossoff's total fell short of the required 50 percent to avoid a runoff, but political analysts considered it somewhat of a coup for a 30-year-old Democrat who has never held political office and describes himself as liberal.

"This is already a remarkable victory," Ossoff said, according to The New York Times. "We defied the odds, shattered expectations, and now are ready to fight on and win in June."

Ossoff will now head toward a runoff with Republican candidate Karen Handel, who finished second in the race with 19.8 percent of the vote out of a field with at least three other Republican candidates.

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"Tomorrow, we start the campaign anew," Handel said, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "Beating Ossoff and holding this seat is something that rises above any one person."

Ossoff has received widespread, national support from Democratic voters, despite his lack of clear policy ideas. But the possibility to "#FlipThe6th," which became a trending hashtag on Twitter the night of the election, has resulted in millions of dollars in donations being funneled to Ossoff's campaign.

That attention has unnerved some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, who attacked Ossoff via his Twitter account.

‶Democrat Jon Ossoff would be a disaster in Congress. VERY weak on crime and illegal immigration, bad for jobs and wants higher taxes. Say NO,″ Trump tweeted.

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Trump also criticized the enthusiasm for Ossoff from people who don't live in Georgia's 6th congressional district.

‶It is now Hollywood vs. Georgia on June 20th,″ Trump wrote, referring to the date of the runoff election between Ossoff and Handel.

Ossoff is a former congressional aide who has also worked as an executive producer for a handful of news documentaries, while Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state, according to The New York Times.

Both have raised a considerable amount of money for what is expected to be one of the hardest-fought congressional contests of the year.

And according to Brian Fallon, the former spokesperson for failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Ossoff's showing in Georgia's 6th district could potentially be a roadmap for the Democratic Party's strategy going forward to win over wealthy, white voters.

‶Even if he doesn't hit 50 tonight, Ossoff is showing us the path to retaking the House. It runs through the Panera Breads of America,″ Fallon tweeted, referring to the chain coffee shop that is often present in wealthy, white suburbs.

Sources: Atlanta Journal Constitution, The New York Times, Donald J. Trump Twitter (2), Brian Fallon/Twitter / Photo credit: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

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