Jon Ossoff, the 30-year old Democratic front runner in the April 18 “jungle primary” special election to replace Dr. Tom Price, recently confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services, in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, does not even live in the district.
“Jon Ossoff doesn’t live in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, and his campaign is funded entirely by donors who don’t live there either,” Georgia GOP Chairman John Padgett told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Ossoff’s campaign notes that he lives only 10 minutes south of the district, “near Emory University, where his longtime girlfriend attends medical school. He is not required by law to live in the district, and he has said he will move to the district if he wins,” the Journal Constitution reports.
But far left Democratic money raisers from the coastal power centers have anointed the inexperienced Ossoff as their standard bearer in what is being touted as the first “bellwether” Congressional race in the new Trump administration, and millions of dollars have poured into his campaign coffers from the well-orchestrated Democratic fundraising machine.
The numbers are staggering.
“Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff raised $8.3 million during the first quarter of the year, his campaign announced Wednesday night,” Roll Call reports.
It’s a stunning haul, especially for a 30-year-old first-time candidate who’s running as a Democrat in a traditionally Republican House district.
Ossoff’s candidacy for the special election to fill Georgia’s 6th District seat, the first competitive congressional election of Donald Trump’s presidency, has attracted national attention. That shows in his fundraising, which his opponents will surely use against him: 95 percent of his donations came from out of state, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which reviewed his first quarter filing. His report has not yet been filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The former Hill staffer and documentary filmmaker ended the quarter with $2.1 million. The average donation was $42.52, according to the campaign. The liberal website Daily Kos says its supporters have given Ossoff $1.25 million.
A number of Hollywood celebrities are among the donors to Ossoff’s campaign.
“Ossoff critics took shots at the celebrity names that studded the long list of donors, including actress Connie Britton, singer-songwriting legend Judy Collins, comedian Chelsea Handler, actor John Leguizamo and TV personality Rosie O’Donnell,” the Journal Constitution reports.
According to the Constitution, you only need to be a resident of the state to represent any district in that state. Still, tradition and common sense has made it a virtual requirement to reside in the district which you represent, that is, until the rise of the nationalized local election.
With such huge financial resources made available to Ossoff by the Democratic fundraising machine, there is little surprise that he is at the top of recent polls.
“Ossoff’s fundraising dominance has attracted more attention to what is already the most competitive congressional election — and among the first — since Trump’s November victory. Democrats circled the race months ago, hoping that Trump’s struggles in the district — he carried it by about 1 point — could help them flip it,” the Journal Constitution reports.
“But Ossoff’s airwave supremacy has exacted a tremendous price. He’s already spent about $6 million on his campaign since he announced his bid, amounting to more than $72,000 a day. And a scattering of public polls still show him hovering at 40 percent — well short of the majority needed to avoid a June 20 runoff against what could be a unifying GOP candidate,” the Journal Constitution adds.
“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. . . 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,” Breitbart News reported late last month.
The Journal Constitution provided this breakdown of the candidates:
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.
Ragin Edwards (D): The east Cobb sales manager is running on a platform of being the “voice for the unheard.”
Richard Keatley (D): A college professor from Tucker and U.S. Navy veteran pledges to fight to make college debt-free.
Jon Ossoff (D): The 29-year-old small business owner once worked as a congressional aide and has the support of U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
Rebecca Quigg (D): The Marietta physician is making the preservation of the Affordable Care Act the centerpiece of her campaign.
Ron Slotin (D): A former state senator who is running as a “progressive” who can fight Trump’s policies.
Alexander Hernandez (I): A political newcomer, the property craftsman is one of two independent candidates in the race.
Andre Pollard (I): A Milton computer systems engineer who is running on a tech-friendly platform.
The Republican leadership is not sitting back as Ossoff’s out-of-district fundraising continues to steamroll ahead.
“The Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee with ties to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, said Friday that it has now pumped nearly $3 million into the contest that helps fund a new round of attack ads depicting Ossoff as a rubber stamp for liberal leaders. The organization said it now has 90 full-time field operatives fanned out across the district,” the Journal Constitution reports:
The group seized on tallies from Ossoff’s finance report that showed he raised more than $500,000 from California donors and an additional $400,000 from New York residents.
“Does Ossoff think he’s not accountable to residents of Georgia’s 6th District since they didn’t pull their checkbooks out for him?” said Courtney Alexander, a spokeswoman for the fund.
The crowded field of 11 Republicans includes several “establishment” candidates and a handful of “grassroots” activists, all of whom appear to be competing to finish in second place behind Ossoff in the April 18 special election and earn the right to carry the GOP banner in the expected June 20 runoff. The GOP standard bearer then is expected to receive the consolidated support of both the establishment and grassroots rings of the party.