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Who Is Jon Ossoff?

Why You Should Care About Georgia's Runoff House Election in June

Prepare to see a lot more of Jon Ossoff's face in the coming months. The Georgia Democrat is running to fill Tom Price's House Representative seat after it was left vacated when Price joined President Donald Trump's administration. After narrowly failing to garner the required 50 percent majority to secure the seat (in a race of 18 candidates), Ossoff will face Republican candidate Karen Handel on June 20.

Ossoff, 30, previously worked as a documentary filmmaker and congressional aide to Democratic Representative Hank Johnson in Atlanta's district. Before working for Johnson, Ossoff attended Georgetown University and the London School of Economics, where he studied foreign service. His background in liberal politics became a source of Republican malice in attack ads, with some claiming Ossoff would be a pawn of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's "liberal agenda."

Despite the sixth congressional district's history of favoring Republican candidates, Ossoff's campaign raised a unprecedented $8.3 million. Comparatively, The New York Times reports that the next-best candidate, Republican Dan Moody, only raised a quarter of Ossoff's donations. Collectively, however, the Republican contenders outspent Ossoff, who received a significant portion of his financial support from outside the state.


Ossoff's surge in popularity in a typically Republican district definitely worried Republicans, and even President Trump weighed in on the special election. "Democrat Jon Ossoff would be a disaster in Congress," Trump tweeted. "Very weak on crime and illegal immigration, bad for jobs and wants higher taxes."

Ossoff secured an impressive 48 percent of the 200,000 ballots cast; however, it seems that the president's push combined with a lack of strong support from the Democratic Party proved successful. Now, Ossoff will have to face a single candidate who is backed by the Republican establishment.

Even though Handel has strong support from the Republican party for her anti-immigrant position, Democrats aren't too concerned with her winning.

"(I'd) rather be Jon Ossoff than Karen Handel right now," said Tom Perez, the newly elected Democratic Party chair, to CNN.

Image Source: Getty / Joe Raedle
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