Political Insider

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

Georgia 6th: Handel stocks up for re-election campaign


U.S. Rep. Karen Handel has about $430,000 left in her campaign coffers as she braces for what could be another grueling election bid to represent Georgia’s 6th District, according to campaign filing reports.

After a wider-than-expected victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff – winning the most expensive U.S. House election ever – the former Georgia secretary of state has hired top staff and readied her re-election bid. The filings show she raised a total of $6.3 million, which includes nearly $700,000 from PACs.

Ossoff’s final campaign filing had not yet been posted, but through the end of May he had raised $23.6 million – an unprecedented total.

Campaign filings show spending in the race, which pitted 18 candidates competing to succeed U.S. Rep. Tom Price, pushed well past $50 million as it became a nationally-watched proxy fight between Democrats and Republicans over Donald Trump, the healthcare overhaul and the battle for suburbia.

The June 20 runoff drew about 260,000 voters – eye-popping turnout for this type of special election in Georgia that helped power Handel to a 4-point victory. Ossoff, 30, has not yet announced whether he’ll challenge Handel next year but said that he’s “not done fighting.”

More: A coda on the 6th District campaign

Some other takeaways from the final filings from the other top Republicans:

Republican Dan Moody, a former state senator, wound up putting more than $3 million of his own money into his failed campaign for the seat. He raised another $130,000.

Republican Judson Hill, another former state senator, took in more than $640,000 in contributions – and lent his campaign another $160,000 from his bank account.

Republican Bob Gray, a former Johns Creek councilman, also dipped deep into his wallet, loaning his campaign $500,000 atop the $330,000 he raised.


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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.