Struggling to gain traction in the polls, Republican David Abroms is turning to his ace in the hole in the final weeks in Georgia's hotly-contested special election: Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin.
Abroms, an accountant running as a consensus-building conservative, will host a meet-and-greet with McMullin on Monday at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North. He said in a statement he's excited to talk about "our shared ideals and why those principles are important" in the April 18 election to succeed Tom Price.
Abroms has long tied his campaign to represent the suburban Atlanta district, stretching from east Cobb to north DeKalb, to McMullin. He signed on Joel Searby, McMullin's chief strategist, to advise him. And his campaign talks of his appeal to a "liberty-minded demographic" and support from McMullin backers in Georgia and beyond.
One of 11 Republicans in the race, the political newcomer has so far been stuck in the lower-tier of candidates despite pumping $250,000 of his own money into his campaign to pay for more than a dozen field staffers. (He has otherwise struggled in fundraising, collecting about $10,000 in contributions.) All are taking aim at Democrat Jon Ossoff, the race's surprising frontrunner.
In an 18-candidate field, Abroms' is hoping his independent streak will stand out. Donald Trump barely edged Hillary Clinton in the district in November, though McMullin - one of 17 write-in candidates - barely registered in the area. Brandon Phillips, a former Georgia Trump campaign manager now advising rival Bob Gray's campaign, greeted news of McMullin's plan on Twitter with a sneer.