Democrat Poised to Make Runoff in Special Election to Replace Rep. Tom Price in Georgia as Grassroots Say GOP Boxing Them Out

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Karen Handel, speaks during a forum Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
AP/John Bazemore

If the latest polls are correct, it looks like no candidate in the crowded April 18 special election to replace Rep. Tom Price, now Secretary of Health and Human Services, in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District will win a majority, and the top two candidates will meet in a June 20 runoff.

“Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel (pictured) are beginning to distance themselves from the crowded field in Georgia’s special election, according to a Fox 5 Atlanta poll,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on Sunday:

The poll, conducted by Opinion Savvy, showed Ossoff leading the 18-candidate field with 40 percent of the vote and Handel at 20 percent. The top two vote-getters in the April 18 special election are headed to a likely June 20 runoff.

The poll showed a trio of other Republicans are essentially tied for third place – Bob Gray, Judson Hill and Dan Moody all tallied between 8 to 10 points – while the rest of the candidates combined for about 6 percent of the vote. It found only 6 percent were undecided.

Most Republicans now concede Ossoff, a 30-year-old former Congressional aide, will land one of the two runoff spots. But the poll underscores the challenges ahead for the other Republicans scrambling to outlast Handel.

Eighteen total candidates in both parties have qualified for the “jungle primary” special election to be held on April 18. Eleven are Republicans, five are Democrats, and two are Independents.

According to the Atlanta Constitution, the eleven Republican candidates are:

David Abroms (R): A business executive and former congressional aide.

Mohammad Ali Bhuiyan (R): A Cobb County economist who aims to be the first Muslim Republican in the U.S. House.

Keith Grawert (R): A U.S. Air Force pilot and Dunwoody resident who wants to “return public service to Washington.”

Bob Gray (R): A former Johns Creek councilman who is running as a “willing partner” with President Donald Trump.

Karen Handel (R): The ex-Georgia secretary of state has statewide name recognition after running in 2010 for governor and 2014 for the U.S. Senate.

Judson Hill (R): The former state senator who represented an east Cobb-based district was the first Republican in the race.

Amy Kremer (R): A Republican activist who qualified just before the deadline on Wednesday.

Bruce LeVell (R): A Sandy Springs executive who was head of Trump’s diversity coalition.

William Llop (R): A Sandy Springs accountant who said he will run as a “financial expert.”

Dan Moody (R): Once a state senator, Moody is a U.S. Army veteran who is now a Johns Creek executive.

Kurt Wilson (R): A Roswell small business owner and staunch supporter of term limits.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote that day, then a runoff election between the top two vote getters will be held on June 20.

The district went for President Trump narrowly in the November election, and most observers expect Republican voters to rally around whichever Republican qualifies for the two person runoff if Democrat Ossof is the other to make the cut on April 18.

Former Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer says the GOP establishment in Georgia is boxing out a number of qualified candidates in the Sixth Congressional District special from Sunday’s debate.

The 6th Congressional District GOP Committee is hosting a debate Sunday night in the suburban Atlanta district, but is only inviting five of the party’s eleven qualified candidates. Kremer is one of the six GOP candidates not invited.

That exclusion does not sit well with Kremer, who is one of the six qualified Republican candidates who have been kept out of the debate.

“The 6th district GOP ignored the math of the polls and handpicked the participants to the first GOP debate held at Indian Hills Country Club on the eve of early voting,” the Kremer campaign said in a statement released on Sunday.

“Amy Kremer has been excluded from the debate based upon the whim of the 6th district GOP. Kremer’s campaign demands that the GOP clean up the corruption and immediately conduct a fair and unbiased election on behalf of all Republicans running for office in the 6th district,” the statement continued:

6th district Chairman Michael Fitzgerald has said that the debate would include “the top 5 Republican candidates chosen by the average of the then most recent polls –much like the Real Clear Politics Average”- prior to the event.

Fitzgerald stated that the polls used were the Fox 5/Opinion Savvy poll (3/22-23) , Clout/Zpolitics poll (3/15-16) and the Trafalgar poll (3/2-3rd),” the statement added, then showed its own calculation that, by those polls, Amy Kremer ranked fifth and should have been included.

According to the Kremer campaign, the average of the three polls shows the following:

Three Poll Average
6th CD Special Election Candidates
Candidate Average Rank
Handel 17.99 1
Gray 13.14 2
Hill 8.89 3
Moody 5.07 4
Kremer 1.09 5
Abroms 1.07 6
Wilson 0.63 7
Source: Kremer Campaign


“The five candidates who have been invited to attend the debate are Bob Gray,  Dan Moody, Judson Hill,  Kurt Wilson, and  David Abroms,” Kremer tells Breitbart News.

“None of them are original Trump supporters,” she adds.

Karen Handel, who leads all polls and Kremer, both of whom are in Kremer’s top five poll averages, were apparently not invited to participate in Sunday’s debate.

“I have never seen anything like this in my life,” Kremer says.

“Bruce LeVell are I are the two candidates in this race that have been on board with Trump from Day One. Bruce headed up President Trump’s diversity coalition.”

“I want to be in the debate tonight. I want transparency. The GOP is trying to manipulate the voters and control who wins this seat. They’re trying to push the Trump people out,” Kremer concludes.

“Might I suggest you be VERY careful about what you hear from Ms. Kremer,” 6th Congressional District GOP Chair Michael Fitzgerald responded to a Breitbart News request to respond to Kremer’s allegations late Sunday.
“Attached is the report that was openly distributed at the debate. It was developed by two career statisticians that analyzed the available data to make a determination who should participate in our debate,” Fitzgerald said.

“Did Ms. Kremer tell you she didn’t rate above the margin of error collecting only ONE vote out of 462?” Fitzgerald asked.

The attached report provided to Breitbart News by Fitzgerald contained this description of the analysis:

 As we were looking for 6 participants (to replace one candidate that formally withdrew from only the initial debate), we considered anyone within the poll’s margin of error of 5%.
In the OpinionSavvy Poll, Republican candidates David Abroms and Kurt Wilson had statistically viable 7 votes (1.6%) and 9 votes (1.8%), respectively. Falling below the Margin of Error, Bruce LeVell (0.4%) received only one vote more than Amy Kremer and Llop, whom both registered one vote in the poll.Two candidates failed to register any votes from any of the polls: Bhylyan and Grawert Conclusively, David Abroms and Kurt Wilson were included in the top six candidates.
It is worthy and bares note that in each of the above listed polls, the top 4 Republican candidates were exactly the same and generally in the same order which provides some measure of statistical validation.Our analysis needs to emphasize that we had to make the best judgment with the criteria available and qualifying conditions forecasted and set in January/February. It is not scientifically fool proof because polls can never account for pure sampling variability (or, generally speaking, non-sampling error), but the
polls allowed us to make solid and guided decisions of who to include in the initial debate.


On March 6, the Trafalgar Group released this statement about a poll it conducted between March 2 and March 3:

A new Georgia survey of likely 2017 special election voters for Congressional District 6 was released today. This 6th District survey measures President Trump’s job approval and breaks down the voter’s preference in the 2017 special election. The Trafalgar Group (TFG), recognized for having the best polling in the 2016 battleground states and Electoral College projection, conducted the poll from March 2nd through March 3rd.
The first question was about Presiden Trump’s approval rating, the results showed that 51.47% of voters approve of President Trump, 41.18% disapprove, and 7.35% have no opinion.

The second question voters were asked their preferred candidate in the Congressional District 6 race, the results were, 18.31% Jon Ossoff (D), 17.98% Karen Handel (R), 13.42% Bob Gray (R), 7.98% Judson Hill (R), 3.05% Amy Kremer (R), 2.82% Ron Slotin (D), 2.11% Dan Moody (R), 0.45% Bruce LeVell (R), while 33.90% were supporting another candidate or were undecided. TFG conducted this survey of 450+ respondents from a random stratified selection of likely 2017 special Congressional election voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.5.


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