Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Ahead of 6th District debate, claims of 'ghosting' on media and 'two-faced' comments

On the eve of the first debate between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff in the nationally-watched race, the two campaigns traded scathing attacks over whether they were sufficiently accessible to the media.

It started with Ossoff’s campaign, which sent a press release Monday saying for months “the career politician has been dodging reporters' questions, skipping local candidate forums, and declining even to speak to members of the local press.”

The release highlighted instances in the AJC and other outlets where Handel’s campaign could not be reached for comment, said she “ghosted” on an interview with WXIA and that she “ignored” Khabar Magazine, a local Indian-American publication.

The timing was significant, too, coming a day after Ossoff’s campaign rejected a debate sponsored by The Atlanta Press Club that was to be broadcast on CNN. His campaign said it preferred a debate with local media; the press club reacted with disappointment.

Handel’s campaign responded with its own press-release fusillade, saying their opponent was “dodging his Ossoff.” It called Ossoff’s supporters hypocrites for claiming Handel was hiding from debates when he rejected the press club’s offer, and claimed he was “two-faced.”

“There's real trouble when you promise donors in San Francisco that you'll be the person to resist everything and will be the face of a new progressive movement, and you're telling voters in Georgia that you're going to work with Republicans to solve problems,” the missive read.


We told you on Monday that Brian Kemp, currently secretary of state, narrowly won an online straw poll of the 2018 race for governor conducted by the Georgia Association of Republican County Chairmen, during the state GOP convention in Augusta last weekend.

That's changed.

Later that evening, we received an email from Brant Frost, chairman of the Coweta County GOP, informing us that, actually, state Sen. Hunter Hill won the greatest share of votes among from 123 delegates and alternates. Here's his chart:



Jon Ossoff released a sunny ad Tuesday chock-full of entrepreneurs in the suburban stretch, echoing his campaign mantra of trying to make the 6th District the "Silicon Valley of the South."

Take a look:


If the traffic's feeling a little heavier than usual this morning it may be because of Jeff Sessions. The Attorney General is downtown this morning for a law enforcement training conference on child exploitation.


Democrat Jon Ossoff has some new celebrity fans, according to Bloomberg Government's Greg Giroux:

Jobs and Bacon join other Hollywood names who have donated to Ossoff's campaign, including singer-songwriting legend Judy Collins, actress Connie Britton and actor John Leguizamo.


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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.