Political Insider

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Gingrich makes late push for Hill in Georgia special election

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made a late push for Republican Judson Hill in the race to represent a suburban Atlanta district, declaring in a robo-call sent to thousands of voters that the former state senator the “only one who has proven he will fight for us.”

Hill is locked in a battle with a trio of other leading Republicans on Tuesday for what could be one spot in a runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff – if he doesn’t win the race outright. The Tuesday vote to represent the Sixth District, which spans from east Cobb to north DeKalb, features 18 candidates.

Struggling in some recent polls – a recent round of surveys put Hill squarely behind Republican Karen Handel – Hill is looking for extra help from Gingrich, who once represented the district. Gingrich endorsed Hill weeks ago, but this is the first time he’s been deployed in robo-calls for the campaign.

“If we’re going to seize on this opportunity to move America in a bold new direction and reverse the last eight years of decline,” he said, “we must vote for the only person with the proven record who can defeat Nancy Pelosi’s candidate, Jon Ossoff.”

The district has been in GOP hands for decades and returned Tom Price to Congress every two years with landslide victories. But Donald Trump's struggles there - he carried it by less than 2 points - have given Democrats hope they can flip it.

And Ossoff, a 30-year-old former Congressional aide, has emerged as a rising Democratic star with an unprecedented $8.3 million fundraising haul. Hill has sought to position himself as the only candidate who can topple Ossoff in a June 20 runoff.

More recent AJC coverage of the Sixth District:

National implications push Georgia special election into spotlight

Nearly $14M in ads have flooded Georgia’s Sixth for special election

Ossoff pulls in record donations for Georgia special election

Georgia Democrats, Republicans seek lessons in tight Kansas race

With Ossoff at the gates, Republicans try to fortify Georgia’s Sixth

Ossoff fights 'top-secret' attacks in Georgia special election

Staff raids and social media hijinks: GOP infighting ramps up in Georgia Sixth

In the final week, Karen Handel becomes a target for GOP rivals

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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.