Political Insider

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

Republicans up the ante on 'yes man' Jon Ossoff

Republicans are racing to neutralize Jon Ossoff's enormous financial advantage, unveiling a new ad Friday depicting the Democrat as a rubber-stamp for liberal leaders and ratcheting up their spending in Georgia's special election.

The Congressional Leadership Fund has now pumped nearly $3 million into the race for Georgia's 6th District that have financed waves of attack ads aimed at bogging down the 30-year-old's poll numbers and 90 full-time field operatives fanned out across the suburban Atlanta district.

The latest ad, which will air on broadcast and cable TV, urges voters to "say no to Nancy Pelosi's yes man." It's the latest in a blitz of attacks that have featured footage of Ossoff dressed as Han Solo while a student at Georgetown University and linked him to Pelosi, the House Democratic leader who hosted a fundraiser for him last month.

Ossoff's campaign has dismissed attacks linking him to Pelosi as partisan chicanery. His spokesman Andy Phelan said earlier this week that the ads are "nothing more than dirty politics and shows why Georgia needs a strong, independent leader like Jon Ossoff in Congress to focus on growing metro Atlanta’s economy.”

Ossoff's high-flying poll numbers - he's consistently double-digits above his nearest Republican rival - and his astounding $8.3 million fundraising haul has unnerved Republicans ahead of the April 18 election.

The 11 Republicans in the field are fighting for what appears to be one spot in a June 20 runoff, but some are quietly concerned Ossoff could capture a majority of votes in April and avoid a runoff. And Ossoff, a former Congressional aide who now runs an documentary film-making firm, openly talks of winning the race outright.

A Democratic victory in the reliably Republican district, which spans from east Cobb to north DeKalb, would be a major upset. The district has been a GOP stronghold since the 1970s, although its boundaries have changed since then, and routinely sent Tom Price back to Washington with commanding victories. But Democrats hope Donald Trump's struggles in the district - he barely carried it in November - give them hope.

Watch the ad here:


More AJC coverage of the Sixth District race:

Ossoff pulls in record donations for Georgia special election

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

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

Republicans, Democrats target Ossoff in Georgia special election

How outside forces play an outsized role in Georgia’s 6th District race

House GOP health care plan divides Sixth District candidates

Jon Ossoff rattles conservatives in race for Georgia’s Sixth



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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.