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Handel slams ‘empty promises’ rivals in Georgia special election debut ad

Facing a wave of attacks from a conservative group, Republican Karen Handel countered with a debut TV ad that slams her opponents in the race to succeed Tom Price as “politicians who talk a big game and never deliver.”

The former Georgia secretary of state has come under increasing fire from other Republicans in the April 18 special election for what could be a sole spot in a runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff. She is the top Republican in most of the polls for weeks despite little spending on advertising.

“We’ve seen swamps, animals, shovels and scare tactics,” Handel said in the ad, as television sets on a pickup perched on a pickup truck flicker through her opponents’ commercials. “Enough with the empty promises and gimmicks.”

There was no immediate comment on how much the campaign will spend on the ad, which rolls out on Thursday.



Club for Growth, which endorsed Republican Bob Gray, unveiled an ad Tuesday depicting Handel as a “big-spending career politician” and criticizing her for a budget vote “planting trees to beautify government properties.” It was the first overtly Republican-on-Republican attack ad in the race.

The district, spanning from east Cobb County to north DeKalb County, has been in Republican hands since Jimmy Carter’s presidency. But Trump barely carried the district in November, and the vote to replace Price in the U.S. House is an early test of the president’s popularity and his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Read more: Republicans escalate wars with each other in Georgia special election

Read more: An 18-candidate debate shows how jumbled Georgia special election is

Watch the ad here:


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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.