Political Insider

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Georgia 6th: Handel agrees to four debates with Ossoff

The debate over debates between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff continues.

Handel's campaign said Wednesday it would participate in four showdowns – three of them to be televised – ahead of the nationally-watched June 20 runoff for Georgia's 6th district. Ossoff's campaign had previously challenged her to six debates.

Does that mean four debates will be held? Not necessarily.

The debates Handel's campaign outlined would be held on June 6 on WSB, June 8 on WABE/PBA30, June 13 on CNN/Atlanta Press Club and June 15 on WSB Radio that would be hosted by BrandBank.

We know for certain that both campaigns previously confirmed they would attend the June 6 WSB event. Ossoff's campaign said the other debate it has approved is the June 8 event. The rest? The verdict is still out.

Ossoff and Handel both attended more than a dozen forums and debates in the runup to the April 18 vote. Since then, the timing and scheduling has been a sticking point in this race.

Shortly after his first-place finish in April, Ossoff challenged Handel to six debates and later said he "confirmed" three of them: One with CBS-46, one with WSB-TV and a third hosted by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association. But Handel had declined to attend the Dunwoody debate, leading to a wave of criticism from Ossoff supporters and the debate organizers.

The debates they end up attending will get a heap of national attention. The race is the premier political contest in 2017 and is the most expensive U.S. House contest in the nation’s history.



More recent AJC coverage on the 6th District race:

How the 6th District was drawn for Republicans

Montana victor calls for help defeating ‘liberals in Georgia’

The GOP prevented an upset in Montana. What does that mean for Georgia-6?

Republicans level an early Memorial Day attack on Ossoff

Ossoff mostly lets others make anti-Trump attacks in Georgia’s 6th

Abortion debate divides candidates in Georgia’s 6th District race

Democrats hope to leverage ‘Ossoff effect’ in other Georgia races

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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.