Political Insider

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Georgia 6th: Pence gives Handel some backup in heated runoff

Vice President Mike Pence swept through metro Atlanta on Friday to provide some timely reinforcements for Republican Karen Handel's bid to represent suburban Atlanta in Congress.

Pence appeared with Handel at a fundraiser at Cobb Energy Centre after a stop at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, telling guests at a $1,500-a-head luncheon that the Republican would help repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass one of the "largest tax cuts in American history" if she defeats Democrat Jon Ossoff.

The June 20 runoff is about "whether we turn back to the policies and leadership the American people just turned out," Pence said, a reference to former President Barack Obama and other Democrats. He urged conservatives to vote and then "bow the head and bend the knee" to pray for a Handel win.

He made no overt mention of Thursday's explosive testimony from former FBI director Jim Comey, who testified that Donald Trump ousted him to try to thwart an investigation of Russia's ties to his presidential campaign.

Handel told guests at the fundraiser they raised almost $250,000 from the event, putting her campaign over the $5 million mark. She's struggled to keep pace with Ossoff, who has shattered fundraising records by collecting more than $23 million since January.

The event was a private gathering, but our AJC colleague Kyle Wingfield tweeted a string of developments as a pool reporter with Pence. Check out his feed here. 

Read more recent AJC 6th District coverage:

Ossoff has the edge over Handel in AJC poll of 6th District race

Ossoff shatters another fundraising record in Georgia 6th race

In 6th District debate, Ossoff and Handel clash over Komen and Comey

Pence to stump for Handel, meet service members in Marietta

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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.