House leader joins Handel on final campaign day

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 20, 2017

She is facing off against Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is running as a moderate.

Democrat Jon Ossoff has focused less on having big-name Democrats campaign for him, but did bring in civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (R-GA) for an event on Saturday.

A spate of retirements from nervous incumbents who lack the stomach for a bitter re-election battle could be avoidable: A Handel victory could show anxious party members - particularly those in suburban districts that Democrats are targeting - that they can still rely on a strategy of turning out their base in Republican-leaning districts, even if Trump is unpopular there.

Issue One estimates that almost half of the money dumped into the race has been controlled by outsider groups, such as the political action committee behind an attack ad tying Ossoff and Democrats to the Alexandria shooting that left a Republican congressman in critical condition. Handel, 55, is a well-known former board chairwoman of the state's most populous county, Fulton, and also a former Georgia secretary of state.

Trump tweets that Ossoff "can't even vote. because he doesn't even live there!" Ossoff is trying for an upset over Republican Karen Handel in the GOP-leaning 6th Congressional District that stretches across greater Atlanta's northern suburbs.

Even watching Ossoff push Handel to the limit here would give those incumbents pause.

"Politics does not have to be about fear and hate and deception and division", he said, avoiding mentioning President Donald Trump directly, as is his custom, but blistering "those cynics in Washington, D.C". Ossoff, a former congressional staffer, almost won the election outright with 48.1 percent in the primary.

Yet Ossoff barely mentions the president, talking instead in generalities about "restoring civility" and the importance of Congress as an oversight body.

Handel, Georgia's former secretary of state, did.

But if you watch Ossoff on the campaign trail or in TV ads, you'd never know it.

The former Komen for the Cure senior vice president who nearly single-handedly destroyed the breast cancer non-profit when she tried to remove the organization's funding of Planned Parenthood, then offered up a fib.

A political attack ad in Georgia's high-profile Congressional race is drawing backlash from Democrats and Republicans for using footage of a severely wounded U.S. Majority Whip Steve Scalise following last week's shooting.

Handel has handled Trump gingerly.

Despite Trump's favorables being underwater, the president weighed in to express support for Handel, most recently in a social media post Monday.

The latest example in Georgia, in a district that Trump carried and that Republicans have controlled for decades, shows that the GOP is deeply concerned about losing what should be a guaranteed win for them. He emphasizes it's mostly from individual donors. However, the Journal notes that Handel did not ask for the ad to be removed.

Both Ossoff and Handel have received violent threats during the campaign. Tens of millions of dollars have fueled the fierce special election campaigns, making this the priciest congressional run in history. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan and two members of Trump's cabinet with Georgia ties — Sonny Perdue and Tom Price — have previously campaigned with her.

Democrats are counting on an Ossoff victory to send a message to Trump, to Washington and the national electorate at large.

For Republicans, it's about defense, with a healthy dose of fear.

There are a total of seven special elections this year to fill six vacant House seats and one vacant Senate seat; and of the three that have taken place already, Republicans have won two.

Meanwhile, in SC, another special election is set for Tuesday between Democrat Archie Parnell and Republican Ralph Norman. Despite winning the support of Bernie Sanders, many have criticized him a Republican-lite candidate whose centrist policies are too similar to Hillary Clinton - the very same policies Democratic strategists hope make him better suited to win a district that's historically swung red. She broadly endorsed Trump's loose outlines for tax cuts; he's said any plan must be "fiscally responsible".

Great America Alliance, a pro-Trump non-profit group that previously ran ads attacking former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey during his testimony, is running an ad that quotes Obama narrating his autobiographical book "Dreams From My Father".

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