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Ossoff strikes back: Democrat rushes to define himself with trio of ads

Democrat Jon Ossoff released a trio of television ads on Friday in a rush to define himself in his bid for a conservative-leaning suburban Atlanta House district before his Republican opponents can.

In the first ad, former Gov. Roy Barnes calls Ossoff a “relentless warrior against corruption” and Rep. John Lewis says he can “shake things up in Congress.” It argues that his role as a national security aide in Congress will help him root out corruption.

A second ad focuses on his campaign pledge to attract more high-tech jobs to the district, which stretches from east Cobb County to north DeKalb. And a third spot, debuting online, features the Democrat’s most critical comments of Donald Trump this campaign.

“He’s not only embarrassing us on the world stage, he could start an unnecessary war,” said Ossoff. “I’ll work with anybody to do what’s right for our country, but we can’t let Donald Trump put us at risk.”

The campaign secured at least $75,000 in ad time this week after House Republicans launched a debut attack ad on Wednesday that featured Ossoff dressed as Han Solo while a member of a Georgetown University singing group. That ad buy is expected to grow substantially.

The $1.1 million ad buy was sponsored by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC backed by House GOP leaders. He's also attracted the attention of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which called him a "Bernie Sanders-type candidate" trying to win in a ruby-red district.

"Not only is Jon Ossoff not fit for his district, it’s not his district at all. He does not live in GA-06," said Maddie Anderson, a spokeswoman for the committee. "Aside from this factor, which should disqualify him, he is completely and wholly unprepared to serve in office. We are looking forward to giving the Democrats a dose of reality over the next several months.”

(Ossoff said he lives south of the district's border so his girlfriend of 12 years, an Emory University medical student, can walk to work. Members of Congress don’t have to live in their districts, and Ossoff said he will move to the 6th after she graduates.)

Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former aide to Reps. Lewis and Hank Johnson, has the support of most of the state’s leading Democrats in the wide-open April 18 race to replace Rep. Tom Price.

The odds are stacked against him. He is one of five Democrats, and 18 candidates overall, in the race. The top two vote-getters – regardless of party – move on to a June 20 runoff.

And although the 6th District favored Trump by only one point, voters also routinely elected Price by huge margins. In November, the Roswell Republican won 62 percent of the vote.

Still, Ossoff has fast become a darling of the Democratic party. His campaign claims nearly $2 million in donations in less than two months. He has racked up celebrity support and a string of big-name endorsements. And national Democrats are pouring staff and resources into his race.

More: Newcomer with war chest gives Democrats hope in Georgia’s 6th District

Check out the ads below.

The first ad is called "Warrior."

The second ad is called "Accountable."

The third ad is called "Countdown."


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.