Political Insider

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Romney, Delta pilots union endorse in Georgia 6th race

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorsed Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th district race on Tuesday with a fundraising appeal for her campaign. Democrat Jon Ossoff got backup of his own, earning the support of the pilots union at Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines.

Ossoff and Handel are attracting droves of attention – and unprecedented spending – in the June 20 runoff to represent the suburban Atlanta district. Both parties are desperate to win the seat, which has long been in GOP hands.

Romney supported Handel in her 2010 bid for governor, praising the “leadership skills that she honed in both the private and public sectors.” In his fundraising note Tuesday, sent through Handel’s campaign, he said conservatives “cannot afford to sit on the sidelines.”

“This is a fight we can win – but we need the support of every single conservative right now,” wrote Romney. “I hope Karen Handel can count on you.”

The union, known as the Air Line Pilots Association International, represents the airline’s 14,000 pilots. It cited Ossoff’s support for “fulsome enforcement” of the Open Skies accords – long a sticking point with Delta. The airline and other major carriers are locked in a battle over what they call unfair competition from Middle East competitors.

"Based upon his public stance and plans for active support of the pilot partisan agenda of Delta pilots,” the union said, “we endorse candidate Jon Ossoff in the Georgia 6th Congressional District special election."

More recent AJC 6th District coverage:

Jon Ossoff: The making of a Georgia Democratic dynamo

Karen Handel: A ‘fighter’ returns to the political arena

Exhausted 6th District voters prepare for vote

Trump robocall slams ‘tax-raising’ Ossoff in Georgia 6th race

Georgia 6th District: AJC poll shows Ossoff with lead over Handel

Ossoff shatters another fundraising record in Georgia 6th

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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.